Bernie Sanders' 2020 staff is making history in one of the strangest of ways: they have now joined the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400, making them the first presidential campaign to agree to collective bargaining.
“I am so proud to be taking this historical step of becoming the first-ever presidential campaign with a unionized workforce,” Krista Harness, a Senior Development Manager who served on the bargaining committee, said in a statement. "I know that our newly ratified union contract will make our workplace more equitable, fair and resilient, and our overall campaign will be much stronger with the protections we were able to win for the workers.”
Here's what the agreement does:
• Establishes a flexible work week.
• Gives staffers days off each month where they're not on call.
• Provides breaks and meal breaks as well as mandatory time off between long shifts.
• Paid vacation time has doubled from 10 days per year to 20.
• Field organizers will have 100 percent of their health care premiums paid for, as long as they make less than $36,000 annually.
• Interns in the national headquarters will make a minimum of $20/hour and receive full benefits.
• Hourly employees are eligible for overtime pay.
• Comprehensive protections for immigrant and transgender workers.
• No one in campaign management can make more than three times the highest-paid worker in the bargaining unit. The only exception would be outside consultants.
The campaign said they would not interfere with negotiations and would recognize Local 400 as long as the majority of the employees signed onto the union.
“This was a model experience in every respect,” Local 400 President Mark Federici said. “First, Senator Sanders walked the talk on unions, agreeing to a truly democratic process — neutrality and card check — that every responsible employer should embrace. And then, the campaign engaged in good faith bargaining, recognizing that it’s in their own interest to have well-treated employees empowered to operate at the top of their games. I urge every other campaign to follow their lead.”