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Congressional staffers launch efforts to unionize amid support from Democratic leadership

The U.S. Capitol is seen during a snow storm on Monday, January 3, 2022. The Washington, D.C., area is forecasted to receive five to six inches of snow before the afternoon.
Greg Nash

Congressional staffers on Friday announced they were launching unionization efforts amid growing support from Democratic leadership.

“After more than a year of organizing as a volunteer group of congressional staff, we are proud to publicly announce our efforts to unionize the personal offices and committees of Congress, in solidarity with our fellow workers across the United States and the world,” the Congressional Workers Union said in a statement.

“While not all offices and committees face the same working conditions, we strongly believe that to better serve our constituents will require meaningful changes to improve retention, equity, diversity, and inclusion on Capitol Hill,” the statement continued. “That starts with having a voice in the workplace. We call on all congressional staff to join in the effort to unionize, and look forward to meeting management at the table.”

The announcement comes as Democratic leaders express support for congressional staffers’ organizing efforts.

Drew Hammill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) deputy chief of staff, tweeted on Thursday that the House speaker would give her “full support” “if and when staffers choose to exercise” their right to unionize.

The statement from Hammill came after Pelosi did not give a direct answer to a question she received during her weekly press conference earlier that day regarding whether she would support congressional staffers unionizing.

“Well, we just unionized at the DCCC, and I supported that,” Pelosi answered at the time, referring to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ campaign arm.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s office (D-N.Y.) also said he would support the effort.

“Leader Schumer believes that hard-working Senate staff have the right to organize their workplace and if they chose to do so, he would support that effort,” a spokesperson for Schumer said in a statement.

Other Democrats who have signaled they support efforts for their staffers to unionize include Reps. Jesús García (D-Ill.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), among others.

Tags Andy Levin Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Chuy Garcia Congress Emanuel Cleaver Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Sherrod Brown unionization

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