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Alexandria public sector workers vote to unionize

Alexandria workers post-unionization (image via AFSCME)

Nearly 200 Alexandria workers hopped onto a wave of unionization in Virginia following a new law allowing collective bargaining.

In an election held by mail, the City of Alexandria Labor and Trades Bargaining unit voted to select the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 20 Local 3001 as their union representative, AFSCME said in a release

“Determined to advocate for better pay and benefits like healthcare and retirement, workers chose to come together to have their voices respected in the workplace,” a release from District Council 20 said.

Who exactly within Alexandria that group represents is a little more unclear. The release said the union represents public sector workers in Alexandria, but the only appearance of the City of Alexandria Labor and Trades Bargaining unit online is in the AFSCME press release. A representative of the City of Alexandria Labor and Trades Bargaining unit could not be reached for comment.

The vote — which saw 96% of members voting in favor — means 191 public sector workers in Alexandria will have union representation, according to AFSCME. The vote follows a similar move by workers in Arlington back in July.

In recent years, several groups of Alexandria workers have made significant strides toward union representation.

“We came together and stood strong to secure this historic victory,” Mark Johnson, a City of Alexandria heavy equipment operator, said in the release. “It feels good to be united with my co-workers in wanting to improve our work and services.”

“We all knew what was at stake and we came through to win a voice at the table.” Jason Hitt, a City building engineer, said in the release. “We’re excited to bargain a contract that represents the best interests of our communities and families – the way it should be.”

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