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DNC Staffers Unionize With Major Democratic Party Donor

SEIU gave $13 million to Democratic candidates in the 2020 cycle

Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington / AP
• January 4, 2022 4:00 pm

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Employees at the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday voted to unionize with one of the party's major donors.

Two-thirds of the DNC's staff opted to unionize with the Service Employees International Union Local 500, according to Business Insider. The nation's second-largest union and its PAC gave $13 million to Democratic candidates in the 2020 cycle. The union will negotiate with DNC leadership, which has publicly supported the unionization push.

"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 spokesman at the DNC, told Insider.

SEIU members largely work in health care, government, and property services. The union has become a driving force in labor policy, spending roughly $20 million on lobbying since 2000. Two members of the National Labor Relations Board, the nation's top labor arbiter, are former SEIU leaders and have refused to recuse themselves from a case involving the union.

Alison Goh, a DNC staffer and union leader, said unionizing will do more than "improve the lives" of staffers.

In a statement marking the vote, Goh wrote that unionizing will ensure that DNC staffers are "given the resources they need to thrive in their careers and succeed in our mission to elect Democrats up and down the ballot."

The DNC received $3.6 million from the labor sector in the 2020 election cycle.