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The Democratic National Committee’s staff just chose to unionize. It’s the most significant organizing effort yet in politics.

The entrance to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington photographed on June 14, 2016.

AP Photo/Paul Holston

  • Staff at the Democratic National Committee chose to unionize on January 4.
  • 67% of eligible staff signed union cards, meaning their union is official.
  • The DNC has publicly welcomed the vote.

Employees at the Democratic National Committee chose to unionize on Tuesday, with two-thirds of their eligible staff signing union cards to make the vote official.

The DNC staff’s decision to unionize with SEIU Local 500 marks perhaps the most significant organizing effort in politics yet. As the Democratic party’s main organizing apparatus, its decisions can help set the tone for other political campaigns, private firms, and other party workforces to follow suit.

“Throughout this process, 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,” DNC staffer and Union Leader Alison Goh said in a statement.

Former Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat of Maryland served as an independent observer and finalized the card count. The union will now formally negotiate a contract with the DNC. Publicly, management has supported their employee’s union drives.

The union will now enter into contract negotiations with DNC management.

In a statement, DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale said the committee 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.”

The effort to unionize has been in the works since at least 2018, DNC union spokesperson told Insider.

“We wanted to send out a strong signal to campaigns, to state parties, to other groups in the political sphere, that this is something that we should do to stand with our allies who have stood with us for so long,” Lucas Acosta, a senior spokesperson and coalitions director at the DNC, told Insider in December. “There’s definitely a tone-setting component of what our goal was.”

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