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.
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
I stand with the workers of @UniteHere11 on campus at Loyola Marymount University fighting
Sodexo for a better contract. I will not be crossing their picket line.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 13, 2019
.@UniteHere11 is fighting for better wages and benefits—and I stand with them. The DNC should find a solution that lives up to our party's commitment to fight for working people. I will not cross the union's picket line even if it means missing the debate.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 13, 2019
I won't be crossing a picket line. We’ve got to stand together with @UniteHere11 for affordable health care and fair wages. A job is about more than just a paycheck. It's about dignity. https://t.co/nn4tb5q8wt— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 13, 2019
I take the debate stage to stand up for workers’ rights, not to undermine them.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) December 13, 2019
I stand in solidarity with the workers of @UNITEHERE11 at Loyola Marymount University and I will not cross their picket line.
As I said at my event with labor leaders here in Miami, I will not cross the picket line and I will stand with @UniteHere11 to fight for the dignity of work.— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) December 13, 2019
I won’t cross the @UniteHere11 picket line to attend next week’s debate. We must live our values and there is nothing more core to the Democratic Party than the fight for working people. I support @UniteHere11 in their fight for the compensation and benefits they deserve.— Andrew Yang?? (@AndrewYang) December 13, 2019
"[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.