ADAM BEAM, SOPHIE AUSTIN AND TRÂN NGUYỄN
Sep 13, 2023
The bill now goes to Gov. Newsom, who must decide whether to sign it into law.
SACRAMENTO — Legislative workers at the California Capitol are close to forming their first labor union after state lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that allows them to organize.
The Democrats in charge of California's Legislature have historically been friendly with labor unions. This year alone, lawmakers are poised to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers and health care employees while also making striking workers eligible for unemployment benefits.
But despite California lawmakers' pro-union stance, the people who work for them have never been allowed to form a union. An attempt to do so last year failed to get a vote in the state Assembly.
That changed this year. On Wednesday, the state Legislature passed a bill to give legislative workers the option of joining a union. The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who must decide whether to sign it into law.
“Legislative staff aren't looking for special treatment — they are looking for the same dignity and respect afforded to all represented workers,” said Democratic Assemblymember Tina McKinnor, the author of the bill. “To the staff in our district offices and Capitol offices — including our dedicated committee staff — that honorably serve the people fo the state of California every day — know this — we see you and we respect you.”