Senate Cafeteria Workers Reject the SEIU

Posted: Jul 25, 2012 6:45 PM

The Senate’s food service workers had a chance to unionize, but instead voted against joining up with the SEIU yesterday. The cafeteria staff is employed by Restaurant Associates and works in the Senate’s Dirksen office building. One has to imagine that Big Labor is especially discouraged to see workers sharing a building with the Democrat-controlled Senate reject unionization. Roll Call reported on the vote .


Senate food service workers voted today not to join a Service Employees International Union-affiliated local.


The Workers United Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board — the SEIU-affiliated union under which the Senate employees would have been organized — reported to Roll Call that while it could not yet release an official tally, the number of votes needed to certify the union had clearly fallen short.


One hundred and sixteen eligible employees had from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to vote by secret ballot in an office space carved out of the main cafeteria in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.


The vote is notable for two reasons. First, the vote reinforces why Big Labor is opposed to secret balloting. Secret ballots make it tougher for Big Labor to bully workers into voting for the union. Second, this vote highlights Big Labor’s downward spiral. Union membership, as shown by this Heritage Foundation chart, has been trending downward. For the year 2011, only 6.9% of private sector workers were unionized.


This post was authored by editorial intern Kyle Bonnell .