Resolution on Campaign Worker Organizing

February 18, 2021

Resolution to Endorse and Support the Washington Campaign Workers Collective Unionization with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 5


WHEREAS, the current system of extractive, low-paid, high-pressure campaign workforces out our BIPOC, femme, Queer, Trans, poor, and disAbled siblings from organizing jobs in political system; and,

WHEREAS, campaign workers often organize without any guaranteed transitional pay, bonuses, healthcare, workplace standards, or basic labor rights, and often do so without the protection of a union; and,

WHEREAS, campaign workers, grassroots organizers, field staff, and interns are the essential workers of campaigns without whom no campaign could run; and,

WHEREAS, workers cannot effectively organize our communities or win elections without basic workplace standards; and,

WHEREAS, MLK Labor is a leading body of organized labor in our State and MLK Labor’s affiliates fundamentally believe every worker regardless of their workplace deserves the protection of union representation; and,

WHEREAS, it is time we collectively raise the standard of campaign employment in our State to be in line with organized labor’s principles of justice, equity, dignity, and respect; and,

WHEREAS, the Washington Campaign Workers Collective (WCWC) is an organizing collective of campaign workers across Washington state who came together to improve their working conditions in 2020; and,

WHEREAS, the WCWC is organizing to empower grassroots campaign workers, invest in campaign staff who reflect the diversity of Washington’s communities, ensure workplace safety, promote anti-racist practice, and transform the political industry to better align with our shared values of social, racial, and economic justice; and,

WHEREAS, the WCWC decided to formally unionize with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 5 and join the Labor family to win collective bargaining agreements with desperately-needed protections like guaranteed vacation and sick days, protection from discrimination, healthcare coverage, and post-campaign transition pay for workers of electoral and issue-based campaigns; and,

WHEREAS, the WCWC and IUPAT will create a campaign worker and organizer apprenticeship program and hiring hall to connect candidates with trained and certified campaign workers; and,

WHEREAS, the WCWC and IUPAT have unionized more than one hundred campaign workers in just two months and are organizing to unionize campaigns up and down the ballot; and,

WHEREAS, these efforts empower campaign workers, bring candidates into organized labor, and strengthens our State’s labor movement through new organizing;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Martin Luther King County Labor Council will formally endorse the Washington Campaign Workers Collective unionization with AFL-CIO affiliate IUPAT DC 5; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Martin Luther King County Labor Council will ask all candidates who seek our endorsement via questionnaire and the endorsement process if candidates pledge to unionize their campaign staff; and,

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Martin Luther King County Labor Council will release a public statement on all of its social media platforms and the MLKCLC website that a) outlines MLK Labor’s full support for campaign worker unionization, b) welcomes campaign workers and political staff into the labor movement, and c) emphasizes that new organizing and youth labor organizing is a crucial part of the labor movement and MLK Labor will support young workers who organize their workplaces.

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