Capping off a busy Tuesday on Capitol Hill, House Democrats passed a bill allowing for congressional staffers to unionize, a vote that was hailed as a “historic action” by Speaker Nancy Pelosi who along with her fellow party members celebrated their momentous achievement.
The vote comes days after Pelosi proudly announced that the minimum wage of House staffers would be bumped to $45,000 per year, a move that she said was necessary out of fairness and the need to recruit and retain talent. Her Friday press release also confirmed that the vote to allow the staffers to organize and collectively bargain would take place.
“Today, the House took historic action paving the way for Congressional staffers to choose to join together in a union,” Pelosi said in a statement after the bill cleared the lower chamber by a tally of 217-202. “By empowering staffers to advocate for themselves and each other, we take an important step to ensure the House is best able to serve the American people.”
Today, the House took historic action paving the way for Congressional staffers to choose to join together in a union. By empowering staffers to advocate for themselves and each other, we take an important step to ensure the House is best able to serve the American people.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 11, 2022
“These new steps build on the actions that I have been proud to take as Speaker to strengthen and diversify our Capitol Hill workforce, including establishing the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion to help open the doors to public service for underrepresented communities,” she added.
These new steps build on the actions that I have been proud to take as Speaker to strengthen and diversify our Capitol Hill workforce, including establishing @DiverseCongress to help open the doors to public service for underrepresented communities.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 11, 2022
“Every day, the House’s work For The People is made possible by the immense talent and devoted service of our Congressional staff. Our Democratic House Majority remains firmly committed to ensuring that Congressional staffers have the resources and support they need to carry on this essential mission,” said Madame Speaker.
Michigan Rep. Andy Levin, who spearheaded the bill to unionize, basked in the glory of the moment.
This is it! I’m walking over to the House Floor right now to give my speech on my resolution to grant congressional workers the right to unionize and bargain collectively. Let’s do this! 💪🏻 #UnionizeTheHouse pic.twitter.com/ynXL0WmBjH
— Rep. Andy Levin (@RepAndyLevin) May 10, 2022
“I’m so proud that Congressional Democrats upheld our values of believing in the collective voice today. If there is any place in the country that needs to walk the walk and respect the will of workers, it is the U.S. Congress—the bedrock of democracy,” he tweeted.
I’m so proud that Congressional Democrats upheld our values of believing in the collective voice today. If there is any place in the country that needs to walk the walk and respect the will of workers, it is the U.S. Congress—the bedrock of democracy. #UnionizeTheHouse
— Rep. Andy Levin (@RepAndyLevin) May 11, 2022
Pelosi’s House minions also took to Twitter to toot their own horns.
Tonight’s vote creating a pathway for Congressional staffers to unionize is an important step in ensuring the House is able to best serve Americans. Workers deserve the right to unionize and I am glad to see hardworking Congressional staff gain the ability to exercise that right.
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) May 11, 2022
🚨The House just voted to allow Congressional staff to unionize.
This will allow thousands of workers to organize and bargain for a better workplace without fear of retribution or retaliation in the People’s House!
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) May 11, 2022
Every worker deserves the chance to unionize – and staffers who work tirelessly to serve Congress and the public are no exception.
Proud to vote tonight to recognize their right to organize in the House.
The movement for labor justice belongs in the halls of Congress.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 11, 2022
🚨BREAKING🚨 The House just passed @RepAndyLevin's resolution to guarantee congressional staff the right to unionize.
I'm a proud cosponsor and will continue fighting for the rights of every worker to organize.
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) May 11, 2022
Behind every member of Congress is our tireless staff doing the people’s work.
Today, I was proud to vote for @RepAndyLevin’s Resolution Recognizing Congressional Workers’ Right to Organize.
Our congressional staff deserve a voice in their workplace.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) May 11, 2022
Members of Congress should lead by example.
As a lifelong organizer, I'm proud to advocate for workers' rights to unionize across this country — and it's time Congressional staff had that opportunity too. https://t.co/O12ZsMrxiH
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) May 11, 2022
The vote comes at a time when regular Americans outside of the Beltway are being relentlessly battered by record fuel prices, budget-busting inflation that has sent food costs skyrocketing, and most recently, a baby formula shortage that is more befitting of a third world country than the greatest nation in the history of the planet. But while ordinary people suffer, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats can be counted on to take care of their own.
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