Staffers For Ed Markey Have Formed the US Senate’s First-Ever Union

“I’m pleased with my workers for embodying the dedication to not agonize, however to arrange,” Markey stated.

Congressional staffers have shaped the first-ever labor union within the U.S. Senate after Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) granted his workers voluntary recognition of their union on Wednesday, the identical day the group introduced its organizing drive.

On Wednesday morning, the Congressional Employees Union (CWU) introduced that Markey’s workers have been submitting a petition for his or her union to be voluntarily acknowledged. The union said that 100% of the workers, or about two dozen staff, have been in favor of unionizing.

“On Group Markey we don’t agonize — we arrange,” the staffers stated in a press release. “As members of the workers of the Workplace of Senator Markey, we’re honored to work on a regular basis on behalf of the individuals of Massachusetts and this nation. And now, we couldn’t be extra proud to announce that we now have signed a petition to kind a union, and request voluntary recognition.”

Markey acknowledged the union shortly after.

“I applaud these passionate, devoted staff who’re exercising their proper to arrange via this elementary, important train in democracy,” Markey stated in a press release, per Roll Name. “I’m pleased with my workers for embodying the dedication to not agonize, however to arrange. I acknowledge their effort to unionize and look ahead to participating with them and the Congressional Employees Union.”

Although the Home handed a decision final yr permitting Home workers to unionize — which was later revoked by Republicans after they took management of the chamber this yr — the Senate has by no means handed such laws, which means that Senate workers lack labor protections in opposition to measures like being fired for his or her union assist.

By looking for recognition of the union, staffers have been primarily risking retaliation from Markey and workplace administration, although Markey has a relatively strong historical past of supporting unions, with some aberrations.

The CWU expressed frustration that the Senate has but to take up a vote on the problem. Although the congressional union effort has been public for over a yr, the union stated, “the Senate has didn’t act, persevering with to disclaim Senate staff fundamental human rights by refusing to cross a easy decision to use the identical protections for Senate congressional workers.”

“We commend the employees of Senator Ed Markey’s workforce who’re becoming a member of collectively arm-in-arm in an unprecedented transfer to demand their rights — not ask for them,” the CWU added.

Final month, the CWU despatched a letter to Democratic and progressive leaders within the Senate, asking them to carry a vote to permit staffers to unionize. Congressional staffers aren’t afforded the identical labor protections as most different staff within the U.S. as a consequence of Congress failing to cross resolutions activating decades-old laws recognizing their proper to unionize. Although the standing of the Home unions have been unclear since Republicans voted final yr to nix staffers’ rights to arrange, the union has promised to forge forward with their effort anyway.

“Many people write and work tirelessly to advance the very legal guidelines that defend and promote each employee’s proper to arrange,” the CWU wrote of their letter. “We deserve those self same rights — the establishment of Congress shouldn’t be above the very legal guidelines it creates.”

For Markey’s workers, these protections is probably not related, relying on how Markey and administration determine to deal with them. Nonetheless, staffers might get the prospect to collectively cut price and kind contracts setting the phrases of their employment.

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