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Tipsheet

Democratic Candidates Threaten to Boycott Upcoming Debate Amid Venue's Labor Dispute

AP Photo/John Bazemore

The sixth Democratic presidential debate that is set to take place on Thursday is in trouble as the venue, Loyola Marymount University, is experiencing a labor dispute and the qualifying candidates say they will not cross the picket line.

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Unite Here Local 11 represents the Sodexo workers at the school and have been in negotiations with the company since March. The union represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers, servers at LMU and they have said the negotiations broke down after Sodexo canceled contract negotiations.

Workers have been protesting on campus since November. 

The candidates who qualified for the debate have voiced their support for the workers and said if the situation is not resolved by the time of the debate, they will not be participating 

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"[DNC Chariman] Tom Perez would absolutely not cross a picket line and would never expect our candidates to, either," DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. "We are working with all stakeholders to find an acceptable resolution that meets their needs and is consistent with our values and will enable us to proceed as scheduled with next week’s debate."

The sixth debate was originally going to take place at the University of California, Los Angeles before a labor dispute there resulted in a boycott by labor unions.

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