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General News    H2'ed 3/19/19

Bernie Sanders Makes History Again As His Campaign Staff Unionize

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Bernie Sanders for President
Bernie Sanders for President
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Bernie Sanders has made history again.

The Sanders 2020 campaign has officially become the first presidential campaign to unionize.

This makes sense considering the senator's vociferous support for the Fight for $15 movement, his standing in solidarity with RoseAnne DeMoro and the National Nurses United, and the wave of teachers' strikes sweeping the nation.

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Sen. Sanders tweeted:

"I'm proud that our campaign is the first presidential campaign to unionize. We cannot just support unions with words, we must back it up with actions. On this campaign and when we are in the White House, we are going make it easier for people to join unions, not harder."

Sanders' campaign manager Faiz Shakir commented:

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"Bernie Sanders is the most pro-union candidate in the field, he'll be the most pro-union president in the White House and we're honored that his campaign will be the first to have a unionized workforce."

Sanders' communications staffer Julia Griffin said:

"It's really beautiful to have such solidarity with folks from all different backgrounds and job roles. When workers organize we all benefit, and I can't wait to see how the campaign benefits from this as well."

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 will represent the current 44 staff members eligible to join. Eventually, its membership will extend to 1,000 staffers in Washington, Vermont, and throughout the country.

Mark P. Federici, president of Local 400, said in a statement on Friday:

"We expect [unionizing] will mean pay parity and transparency on the campaign, with no gender bias or harassment, and equal treatment for every worker.

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"I hope this breakthrough serves as a model for other presidential campaigns, as well as party committees and candidates for other offices. When candidates who claim to support the labor movement practice what they preach, that sends a powerful message that, if elected, they will deliver on their promises to strengthen union rights and level the playing field between workers and employers."

Although he is the first presidential candidate the do so, Sanders is not the first progressive candidate for higher office to unionize.

Actor Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame, who challenged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the gubernatorial nomination, also boasted unionized staff, as did Democratic congressional candidate Randy Bryce and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM).

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Ted Millar is poet and teacher. His poetry has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Liberal America and Liberal Nation (more...)
 

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