All 129 of Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s campaign staffers voted to form a union in an effort to “send a message that every worker in this state should have a right to demand better wages, benefits, and working conditions.”

The staffers agreed to a contract through the Office and Professional Employees International Union that will last through the election on November 8. The contract also includes a guarantee on safe working conditions, parental leave, overtime pay, gas stipends, and a bonus if O’Rourke wins the election.

The union is the first of its kind for any statewide campaign in Texas.

O’Rourke has previously announced his support of unions, calling them “the engine of our economy and a pathway to the middle class for millions of Americans.” He is currently endorsed by unions including Texas AFL-CIO, the Texas American Federation of Teachers, the Service Employees International Union Texas, and the Texas State Employees Union.

“We are proud to join the labor movement and to be the first Texas statewide campaign to unionize,” said Rocio Dumey, a campaign organizer. “Like Beto, we practice what we preach. We want to send a message that every worker in this state should have the right to demand better wages, benefits, and working conditions. We want to join them in that fight.”

In a statement to The Texan, Abbott spokesman Renae Eze said the move was indicative of O’Rourke’s vision for Texas.

“The way Beto O’Rourke runs his campaign is the way he wants to run Texas—straight into the ground with his extreme socialist labor policies,” said Eze. “This sort of European-style collective bargaining is a nightmare for business and would destroy the Texas Miracle. Beto O’Rourke is reaping what he’s trying to sow in Texas.”

Jake Peterson

Jake Peterson is a journalism fellow for Texas Scorecard. During high school he competed in speech and debate and now works to teach the unbiased truth, and expose corruption.