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DNC staff votes by ‘overwhelming margin’ to unionize

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Staff at the Democratic National Committee have voted to unionize by an “overwhelming margin,” according to an announcement on Tuesday.

Former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) determined, as an independent neutral observer picked by staff and management, that the majority of DNC staff had voted to join Local 500 of the Service Employees International Union.

SEIU Local 500 represents employees at schools and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Alison Goh, a union leader and DNC staff member, said in a news release that they were “incredibly excited” to join the union.

“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,” Goh said.

DNC union membership has been voluntarily recognized by leadership of the organization, and the release said that the unionization process had been “collegial, efficient, and productive” because unionization is part of the shared values held by the Democratic Party.

“The DNC looks forward to meeting with LocaI 500 and our employee representatives to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement in the near future,” DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale said. “I am inspired by the incredible DNC team, and that’s especially true today as they live the values we hold dear as Democrats.”

Next steps involve management and a staff committee beginning contract negotiations.

DNC staff first announced their plans to unionize in August. The effort is just the latest in a number of progressive companies and groups to unionize. In December 2020, ActBlue, the primary fundraising platform for Democratic candidates, joined the Campaign Workers Guild. The ActBlue union was, at that time, made up of over 80 employees.

Additionally, the progressive digital firm Rising Tide Interactive joined SEIU Local 500 in October; and Break Something Inc., a digital advertising and consulting firm focused on electing Democrats, announced it had reached an agreement to join the CWG in August.

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