Rep. Andy Levin, D-Michigan, filed a resolution Wednesday that would allow congressional workers to form unions.
The legislationImplement existing policies that allow unionization among congressional staffers but that aren’t activated until they’re approved by Congress. If the resolution passes House staffers will be able to beginPetitioning for and forming unions.
“In recent weeks, congressional staff have shared bravely their workplace experiences, good and bad, clearly illustrating their need for the protected right to organize,” Levin said on Wednesday. “Today is about a simple proposition – that congressional staff must enjoy the same fundamental rights of freedom of association at work, to organize and bargain collectively for better conditions, that all workers deserve.”
The resolution has 130 cosponsors, including members of the progressive “squad” like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) Cori Bush (D-Missouri) and Jamaal Bowman (D-New York). Workers will be able to vote it in if it passes. have to unionize office-by-office.
According to the Congressional Workers Union, Congressional workers have been organizing for more than a year. The movement gained momentum when Nancy Pelosi, Democratic-California House Speaker, spoke out in support of the organizing workers. Jen Psaki, Press Secretary has also saidPresident Joe Biden supports the union push.
The Congressional Workers Union celebrated Levin’s resolution, adding that it’s time for members of Congress to live up to their professed ideals when it comes to unions and organizing.
“While we welcome the outpouring of support from lawmakers in the days since our organizing launch, we as staff remain exposed to retaliation for our organizing efforts and will remain exposed until the House passes the Resolution,” the workers said in a statement. According to InsiderThe organizing workers are all Democrats.
“We urge House leadership, who has voiced support for the union effort, to bring it to the floor for a vote at the earliest opportunity,” they continued. “Now is the time to demonstrate your commitment to all workers – including your own – through action. The world is watching.”
Congressional workers face low wages and poor working conditions that have led to a “brain drain” in Congress, the organizing workers noted. Talented staffers will often be overlooked. go to lobbying firmsOr you can work in the private sector with better salaries. As long as staffers’ working conditions remain the same and they are denied a voice in the workplace, the organizers said, they will be unable to serve lawmakers’ constituents to the best of their abilities.
The workers’ effort has garnered support from influential labor leaders like President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Sara Nelson and American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Elizabeth H. Shuler, among others.
Pelosi has yet not to announce when she will bring legislation to a vote. During a press conference on WednesdayShe stated that Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, was the House Administration Committee Chair and should review the legislation. Lofgren has previously voiced supportFor the union push.
However, Senate staffers will have a more difficult path to unionization. The Senate will need to pass its own resolution to allow offices to form unions in order to allow Senate workers unionization.
Chuck Schumer (D, New York) is the Senate Majority Leader Supports the union effort. However, the resolution would need to pass the 60-vote filibuster threshold in order to be approved. Republicans along with conservative Democrat Joe Manchin West Virginia, have already approved the resolution. Already thrown cold waterThe union push.