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Workers at Capitol Visitor Center to unionize

By Ed O'Keefe

Visitors take in some of the sights at the Capitol Visitors Center. (Post)

The men and women who conduct tours and assist visitors at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center plan to join a union.

Workers voted late last week to join Council 26 of the American Federation of the State, County and Municipal Employees, a union that also represents other legislative branch workers at the Architect of the Capitol and Library of Congress.

Of the 138 tour guides and visitor's assistants at the visitor center, 96 voted to join the union and 33 voted against, according to AFSCME's Carl Goldman. The workers began their organizing efforts earlier this year, he said.

"All of them are very interested in the Capitol Visitor Center," Goldman said. "They're very dedicated to serving Congress and the public. They want their views to be taken seriously by management. They want to be given the tools to do their jobs."

Among other things, tour guides and assistants are looking for warmer winter jackets, easier access to the Internet during the day and some answers to questions regarding benefits payments, Goldman said.

"We look forward to discussing the next steps with AFSCME Council 26 representatives," said Architect spokeswoman Eva Malecki.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 20, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Warmer jackets? How about taking money out of your paycheck and buying one like other out of doors workers have to do? You need a union contract to get a jacket?

Posted by: snuffy5273 | September 20, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

And internet access. Capitol history changes so fast, they have to be able to text their BFFs to make sure they're tour-guiding right.

Posted by: jiji1 | September 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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