Kentucky Democratic Party staff unionize, join IBEW Local 369
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Democratic Party’s staff has unionized and joined IBEW Local 369, and secured a collective bargaining agreement, the party announced Tuesday.
The KDP joins a growing group of state parties across the country who 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, Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
“Unions have always been the backbone of our working families and the economy. 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,” concluded Elridge.
IBEW Local 369 was pleased it 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’,” said Gene Holthouser, Business Representative, IBEW Local 369.
“On the back cover of the IBEW constitution are three words that were true in 1891 and still ring true today; ‘It Takes Courage’. 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,” concluded Holthouser.
KDP 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.”