The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to allow House staff members to unionize. The resolution does not need a Senate vote to go into effect.
The Congressional Workers Union, which has been pushing for unionization, said in a statement,
“Tonight’s vote is a historic moment for thousands of congressional workers who have won basic labor protections to organize and bargain collectively without fear of retaliation. For 26 years, Congress has had the opportunity to pass this resolution but has failed to act, until our collective demands were too loud for them to ignore. Tonight is a reminder of the power of collective action and what the freedom to form a union truly means — democracy not just in our elections, but in our workplaces too. To our fellow congressional workers: today belongs to us. Tomorrow, we continue the fight — solidarity forever and onwards!”
Questions remain as to how the union will be organized and how bargaining units will be structured.
This is an example of recent efforts to unionize elite spaces which also include museums and magazines. Suzanne Bates, senior writer and researcher at Americans for Fair Treatment, explained to the Washington Times, “These are no longer the blue-collar unions of our parents’ generation that fought for workers’ rights.” She continued, “this expansion on Capitol Hill is about unions building their political capital. It isn’t about the working class and what they need.”