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House Democrats’ campaign arm forms largest union in Democratic Party

With more than 200 members, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will have the largest collective bargaining unit in the Democratic Party.

WASHINGTON — Employees at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Tuesday they have formed the organization’s first union, making it the largest collective bargaining unit in the Democratic Party.

The DCCC, the campaign arm of House Democrats, agreed to voluntarily recognize the union of more than 200 staffers after a majority in January expressed interest in unionizing.

“We are eager to meet at the bargaining table, roll up our sleeves, and secure a contract to guarantee the DCCC is the best place to work in Democratic politics for all current and future staff,” said Jacob Haythorn, a representative for the DCCC Staff Union, in a statement first shared with NBC News.

The union will be part of Teamsters Local 238, based in Iowa.

DCCC Executive Director Tim Persico welcomed the staff union, saying he looks forward to ensuring "the committee remains an awesome place to work today and into the future."

“Today’s voluntary recognition is a testament to our shared commitment to live the values we fight for — both at the ballot box and within our places of work” Persico said in a statement.

The DCCC joins a growing list of left-of-center political organizations whose workers have decided to unionize in recent years, including the Democratic National Committee, presidential campaigns, and several major advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club.

Democratic National Headquarters Building
Pedestrians walk in front of the Democratic National Headquarters near the U.S. Capitol.Scott J. Ferrell / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

While unions have seen their enrollment numbers decline for decades, along with the industries they traditionally represented like manufacturing and mining, they’ve made recent gains in white-collar industries with younger workforces like media and politics.

Campaign workers have long complained of low-pay, long hours and unreliable processes for reporting problems like sexual harassment in the workplace. They argue that making politics a better place to work will attract people from more diverse backgrounds.

Organizers have faced little public pushback from Democratic bosses, particularly since the party is so closely aligned with organized labor, but organizers have reported behind-the-scenes opposition from some employers who argue that higher labor costs and stricter labor rules will undermine their organization's mission.