Workers from America’s first national park have unionized.

This July, it was announced that workers at Yellowstone National Park have voted to join a union. According to the press release, this includes Interpretive Park Rangers, educators, researchers, fee collectors, first responders, firefighters, and other staff working for the Department of Interior’s National Park Service. Workers are joining the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM). Due to this vote, NFFE will be reestablishing its Federal Local 465 unit, which hosted the NFFE National Convention at the Yellowstone Inn in 1935.  This will give them the ability to lobby the U.S. Congress for improved pay and better benefits.

Over 100 signatures were acquired across a vast geographical range and varying weather conditions to reach a union vote. The vote took place this summer, where the amount of employees are actually working. The vote passed with 80% approving the measure.

The Yellowstone organizing committee said the following in the press release:

“Working to protect and preserve Yellowstone for ‘the enjoyment of the people’ is a much more difficult and precarious career than people realize,” the Yellowstone organizing committee said in a statement. “Due to low pay, unmanageable workloads, high rent, a stifling hierarchy, and many other issues, the workforce here is struggling. The resulting high turnover negatively affects the park and the public’s experience of it.

Our goal in unionizing is to improve communications between field staff and park management and improve working and living conditions for all employees, especially temporary seasonal employees.We also want to find tangible ways to build a more inclusive, diverse workplace with more transparency and opportunity for advancement. Yellowstone National Park is one of our nation’s crown jewel parks and a place that all Americans can be proud of. National Park workers should be valued as highly as the places we love and work to protect, and we believe that union representation will help ensure that we are treated with the dignity and respect we deserve.”

Randy Erwin, who is the National President of NFFE, said the following about the move.

“I am honored to welcome the Interpretive Park Rangers, scientists, biologists, photographers, geographers, and so many other federal employees in essential roles at Yellowstone to NFFE. By unionizing, previously unrepresented Yellowstone employees have obtained a critical voice in their workplace and now have the power to make significant changes to benefit themselves and their colleagues. It comes as no surprise that these workers and millions across the country are realizing the value of a union, as the Biden Administration has respected the aspirations of workers to unionize. I look forward to working with the Yellowstone employees and helping them achieve improvements in their workplace.”

Yellowstone workers obviously deal with a lot, as it ranks in the top five in National Parks visitation. They also deal with some unwise tourists. Click here for the latest moronic act committed by a tourist.

Image Credits: National Federation of Federal Employees (Featured Image), Jeromey Balderrama (Header Image), Meina Yin

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