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Kentucky Democratic Party Staff ‘Goes Union’ - Joins IBEW & Becomes Part Of Growing Group Of State Parties Across The Nation That Have Unionized

Published Sunday, November 22, 2020
by Steve Rogers/WTVQ
Kentucky Democratic Party Staff ‘Goes Union’ - Joins IBEW & Becomes Part Of Growing Group Of State Parties Across The Nation That Have Unionized

(FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY) – The Kentucky Democratic Party’s (KDP) Staff has voted to Unionize, choosing to join International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 369 in order to secure a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The KDP joins a growing group of state parties across the country that have Unionized.

The Staff’s organizing efforts were voluntarily recognized and supported by KDP Leadership.

“I know former Chair, Ben Self, ‘was proud to have enthusiastically supported’ the Staff’s ‘right to seek union representation and enter into a collective bargaining agreement,’” said Colmon Elridge, who serves as Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

“Unions ‘have always been the backbone of our Working Families and the economy,” Colman continued.  “Democrats ‘believe in the power of the Labor Movement and understand the role of Labor in securing rights, dignity and safety in the workplace.’  This process ‘was an important formal recognition of that relationship and incorporating our long held values more intentionally into our work.’  ‘I think it’s a great move for the future of the Kentucky Democratic Party.”

IBEW Local 369 Officials were pleased the Union was chosen by KDP Staff to represent them.

“Union representation is a ‘hard fought right that many would see taken from us.’  One of the objects of the IBEW is to ‘elevate the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members and their families and dependents in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship,’” IBEW Local 369 Business Representative Gene Holthouser said.

“On the back cover of the IBEW Constitution ‘are three words that were true in 1891 and still ring true today: ‘It Takes Courage,’” Holthouser continued.  “It takes courage to ‘stand up when you see an injustice being done to a fellow Member.’  It takes courage to ‘speak up about issues that concern our Members and our profession.’  It takes courage ‘to do what’s right, even if it’s not popular.’  ‘Those are the ideals we strive to live by and we welcome the KDP into our ranks.”

KDP’s now-Unionized Staff offered the following statement on behalf of its membership collectively: “We asked for support and recognition of our right to organize.  Our leadership stepped up to bargain in good faith and ensure that, as Kentucky Democrats, we live up to our values.  We believe deeply in the importance of building and maintaining long-term organizing infrastructure as a means for achieving an equitable and inclusive Kentucky Democratic Party. We came together and organized with a single, common purpose: to make the Kentucky Democratic Party the best possible workplace for everyone, now and in the future.”

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