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Congress: Eight House staff offices become the first to unionize

Yahoo Finance's Dani Romero details how staff in eight offices within the House of Representatives have unionized.

Video Transcript

- All right, staffers of eight Democrats in the US House of Representatives took a big step toward unionizing today. Yahoo Finance's Dani Romero has the details. Good to see you. So we've heard about Apple and Amazon and Starbucks. Didn't see it coming to Capitol Hill. That was a new one to me. Tell us about this.

DANI ROMERO: Yeah, it's a really big move, as you said, for these congressional workers from the offices of eight Democratic members of the House who have filed a petition for unionization. A total of 85 congressional workers have filed for this petition. The vote comes right around the time after the House, excuse me, voted in May to give recognition to these workers who wanted to unionize.

In a statement from the Congressional Workers Union, they say, "For far too long, congressional staff have dealt with unsafe working conditions, unlivable wages, and the vast inequality in our workplaces that prevent Congress from properly representing the communities and needs of the American people," as you can see on your screen. "Having a seat at the bargaining table through a Union will ensure we have a voice in decisions that impact our workplace."

Now, this push for unionization on Capitol Hill really gained steam after an Instagram account called Dear White Staffers really shared stories of how these congressional workers had financial difficulties, also unlivable wages. And so, but Congressman Andy Levin, who is the Michigan's ninth district Congressman, he is really behind these workers. And he said in a statement just recently, "As a former Union organizer and someone who spent decades in the labor movement, I know how important it is to keep the spotlight focused on the people today, and is truly about the workers."

So but again, you know, President Biden has really sought to really have a labor Union-friendly policy and also good wages, of course, post pandemic.

- Of course, this falls on the taxpayers, right? This is unlike the businesses we mentioned.

DANI ROMERO: That's important.

- And this has to be, I assume, congressionally authorized if they're going to raise pay.

DANI ROMERO: Yeah, they did. They vote-- the House voted for it.

- Yeah. OK. Interesting.

- Very interesting. All right, Dani Romero. Thanks so much.