Cori Bush's Congressional Office Staff File to Unionize

Bush said in a tweet she 'stands in solidarity' with the workers

Jul 18, 2022 at 5:37 pm
click to enlarge Congresswoman Cori Bush speaks at a pro-choice rally in St. Louis on May 3. - Monica Obradovic
Monica Obradovic
Congresswoman Cori Bush speaks at a pro-choice rally in St. Louis on May 3.

Staffers of Representative Cori Bush's congressional office have filed a petition to unionize.

A spokesperson for Bush's office confirmed the unionization attempt on Monday and said Congresswoman Bush was supportive of the effort.

"Workers are stronger together, and I'm proud to stand in solidarity as they strive in making Congress a better workplace," Bush (D-St. Louis) tweeted on Monday.

Bush applauded her office's unionization efforts in a statement on Tuesday.

"Let this serve as an important reminder to my colleagues, that we in Congress must be the change we want to see in the world," she said. "So, whether we want to see a federal minimum wage increase to at least $15, national paid leave, and labor rights and protections for all — that work and those values must be honored here on Capitol Hill and in our offices."

The unionization effort in Bush's office is part of a larger push among congressional staffers to unionize. According to the Congressional Workers Union, 85 congressional workers in eight congressional offices have attempted to unionize as of Monday.

In May, the U.S. House passed a resolution sponsored by Representative Andy Levin (D-Michigan) that gave congressional workers the right to unionize and bargain collectively. Doing so granted legal protection to most congressional house employees.

In addition to Bush's team, workers for seven other progressive House democrats  have also filed petitions, including the staffs of Levin, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), among others.

Bush has previously stated she would back congressional staffers who attempted to unionize.

"I'd proudly support congressional staff and any workers in the U.S. Capitol in their efforts to unionize," Bush wrote in a February tweet. "Every worker deserves a union."

According to the Congressional Workers Union, passage of Levin's resolution in May triggered a 60-day interim period. Monday marked the first day for when bargaining rights became fully protected.

"For far too long, congressional staff have dealt with unsafe working conditions, unlivable wages and vast inequity in our workplaces that prevent congress from properly representing the communities and needs of the American people," the union stated in a press release Monday. "Having a seat at the bargaining table through a union will ensure we have a voice in decisions that impact our workplace."

This story was updated Wednesday with additional comment from Cori Bush.