House passes bill allowing congressional staffers to unionize

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The House of Representatives passed a bill that grants congressional workers the right to organize and bargain collectively on Tuesday night, to applause from Democratic members of the chamber.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly hailed the bill’s “historic” passage, after it cleared the chamber by a vote of 217 to 202.

“Today, the House took historic steps clearing the way for congressional staffers to choose to unite in a union,” she said in a statement. “By empowering staff members to stand up for themselves and each other, we are taking an important step in ensuring the House is better able to serve the American people.”

US President Joe Biden walks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he leaves the US Capitol after a caucus meeting in Washington, DC on October 1, 2021.
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US President Joe Biden walks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he leaves the US Capitol after a caucus meeting in Washington, DC on October 1, 2021.
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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Pelosi said the organizing bill is part of a broad Democratic-controlled congressional effort to help congressional staff.

“Congress has long been strengthened by the skill, dedication and patriotism of our hard-working employees, who enable us to fulfill our legislative and constituent responsibilities,” she said. “The House Democrat is committed to honoring their service, while ensuring that Congress is well positioned to compete for exceptional and diverse personnel. Last week, I was proud to announce that the House will set its first-ever compensation floor, establishing a minimum annual salary of $45,000.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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“These new steps build on the actions I’ve been proud to take as president to strengthen and diversify our Capitol Hill workforce, including the creation of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. of the House to help open the doors of public service to underrepresented communities,” Pelosi continued. .

Democratic Representative Andy Levin, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Labor Caucus who drafted the resolution, also celebrated its passage.

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Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI) speaks during a press conference today on February 09, 2022 at HVC/Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA.

Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI) speaks during a press conference today on February 09, 2022 at HVC/Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA.
(Lenin Nolly/Sipa USA)/Reuters)

“After 26 years, the House has finally granted its workers the basic human right to form a union without fear of reprisal,” Levin said. “As someone who has spent decades in the labor movement and dedicated his life to protecting and improving workers’ rights, this moment stands out as a highlight.”

“Congress staff join a broader movement of workers in our society who are organizing, collectively bargaining and stepping up to make it clear that they want a greater voice in their workplaces,” he said. he adds.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that President Biden supported the resolution.



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