PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN STAFFS PLAGUED BY ANTI-WORKER ACCUSATIONS
At least five Democratic presidential candidates have recognized labor unions as representatives of their campaign staffs, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, and Eric Swalwell. Democratic candidates are catering to labor union votes, likely because of President Trump's strong support from union households in the last election. Surprisingly, results have not always gone the way the presidential candidates would have preferred.
The Bernie Sanders campaign is facing unfair labor practice charges alleging illegal employee interrogation and retaliation. Apparently, negotiations between the Sanders' campaign and the union representing staffers has not gone over well, although the NLRB has yet to determine whether the charges against the Sanders' campaign have merit. Charges to the NLRB can be filed by "any person," and they do not have to come from someone directly affected by the alleged violations.
A representative of the UFCW, the union representing the Sanders' campaign staffers, declined to comment, as did the Sanders campaign officials.
More recent information indicated that the charge against the Sanders' campaign was filed by a staffer alleging that the campaign "failed to notify us upon hire that we had a collective bargaining agreement and maintained that we were at-will." Other allegations include that the campaign broke the terms of its collective bargaining agreement by making staff work additional days and failing to provide days off.
Elizabeth Warren's campaign is also facing an unfair labor practice charge alleging its confidentiality agreement unlawfully prevents them from speaking out on workplace issues. The charge against Warren was filed by a non-employee who supports another presidential candidate and is targeting the campaign's reported use of unpaid fellowships as well as non-disparagement agreements. The Warren campaign reportedly requires its employees to not "make any statement that may impair or adversely affect the good will or reputation of the organization." Other reports indicate neither the Warren nor the Sanders campaign are willing to pay the $15.00 per hour wages that they had campaigned for.
A related development concerning the Bernie Sanders' campaign is that numerous reports indicate that union members are upset with Sanders for his idea of eliminating the current health coverage of union members in favor of a Medicare for all system. The unions oppose this idea on the grounds that negotiated health care benefits are a key perk of being in a union.