Democratic Party now a union shop with collective bargaining rights

Democratic National Committee employees are joining the Service Employees International Union after the majority of party staff voted to organize.

The move could raise labor costs and reduce the money available to invest in campaigns against the Republicans. But top DNC officials are praising employees for choosing to unionize, announcing Tuesday all workers, based in the nation's capital or elsewhere, would affiliate with SEIU Local 500 in the greater Washington, D.C., area. The party is emphasizing the effort did not "stem from workplace disputes" but rather "a real-life adoption of Democrats' shared values."

"Today, the DNC is proud to voluntarily recognize SEIU Local 500 after a majority of DNC employees expressed their desire for union representation in a mutually agreed-upon bargaining unit," DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale said in a statement. "The DNC looks forward to meeting with LocaI 500 and our employee representatives to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement."


Added Alison Goh, the DNC operative who led efforts to unionize the Democratic Party's employees: "Our aim has been not only to improve the lives of current and future staff at the DNC, but to ensure our staff, no matter where they live, are protected and given the resources they need to thrive in their careers and succeed in our mission to elect Democrats up and down the ballot."

Democrat Donna Edwards, a former Maryland congresswoman, was the independent observer who monitored the union election at the DNC.

The primary purpose of the national party committees is to win elections, focusing on the White House in presidential cycles and the battle for Congress in midterm years; for instance, 2022. The parties exist strictly on donated money, with leadership, and therefore employment, dependent on the outcome of national and party elections. Party staff are typically at-will employees and typically work long hours.

But in recent years, Democratic Party organizations, liberal political groups, and even some candidates' campaigns have seen staff clamor to unionize. In doing so, Democratic operatives and activists have sought to elevate employment conditions, instituting the sort of fringe benefits and labor protections prevalent at private companies and public sector government agencies.


This trend has not caught on with Republicans.

The DNC ended November with more cash on hand than the Republican National Committee, reporting $67.4 million to spend on campaigns, compared to its counterpart's $65.5 million.

Original Location: Democratic Party now a union shop with collective bargaining rights


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