We talked to the congresswoman’s staff about why they formed a union.

By Jacqui Germain, Teen Vogue

Nearly eight months after congressional staffers around the country went public with their union drive, the Congressional Workers Union (CWU) is moving through its first round of union elections. On July 18 — the very day their newly granted right to organize and bargain collectively kicked in — staff aides filed for formal election petitions with the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights in eight House of Representatives offices: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), Rep. Jesús García (D-IL), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Ilhan Omar stands at a podium

Staff workers in Rep. Levin’s office won their union election on Monday. Today, employees in Rep. Omar’s office will learn the results of their election, hopefully making them one of the first congressional offices to unionize in the history of the 233-year-old legislative body.

On the eve of the election results being announced, Teen Vogue spoke with four CWU members working in Rep. Omar’s office — Phillip Bennett, CWU president, and three rank-and-file members, Jacklyn Rogers, Natasha Rice, and Akolade Gbadamosi — about the union drive, the issues they’re organizing around, and their hopes for the future of the CWU. Bennett and Rogers work at the congresswoman’s Capitol Hill office, while Rice and Gbadamosi work in her district office in Minnesota.

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