Unionized Staff Is Making Sanders Campaign Feel The Bern On Minimum Wage Hypocrisy

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Posted: Jul 19, 2019 6:45 AM
Unionized Staff Is Making Sanders Campaign Feel The Bern On Minimum Wage Hypocrisy

Source: AP Photo/John Locher

Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of the many faces that make up the progressive left within the Democratic Party. He’s an unapologetic democratic socialist. He has an economic agenda that would cost us trillions of dollars. And he’s staunchly pro-labor union. That is until his campaign staff starts making demands for better pay, right? Yeah, it seems so. The Sanders campaign has unionized and is demanding $15/hour for staff nationwide and so far the left-wing candidate’s leadership is silent on the matter. You just can’t make this up. The far left guy unionizes the staff, makes minimum wage hikes part of the campaign platform, and then decides to slow walk paying his own staff the wage he wants to enact nationwide for workers as president. Excuse me while I grab some popcorn (via WaPo):

Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications.

Campaign field hires have demanded an annual salary they say would be equivalent to a $15-an-hour wage, which Sanders for years has said should be the federal minimum. The organizers and other employees supporting them have invoked the senator’s words and principles in making their case to campaign manager Faiz Shakir, the documents reviewed by The Washington Post show.

Sanders has made standing up for workers a central theme of his presidential campaigns — this year marching with McDonald’s employees seeking higher wages, pressing Walmart shareholders to pay workers more and showing solidarity with university personnel on strike. The independent from Vermont has proudly touted his campaign as the first presidential effort to unionize its employees, and his defense of the working class has been a signature element of his brand of democratic socialism and a rallying cry for the populist movement he claims to lead.

[…]

By encouraging these workers to unionize, Sanders and his campaign opened a path to negotiate for more than the low wages that typically have prevailed in past campaigns. They are seizing the opportunity.

[…]

It was not completely clear why the wage dispute began so swiftly after the campaign and the union reached the initial agreement, though at that point the campaign had yet to assemble its sprawling roster of field organizers. But on May 17, Shakir convened an all-staff meeting, during which he recommended raising the pay for field organizers to $42,000 and changing the workweek specifications, according to an email he later wrote to staff. The union draft indicated he was seeking to extend the workweek to six days.

Shakir pressed for a swift vote so he could make budget decisions and decide how many field organizers to hire, according to his email.

The union rejected his offer, because the raise would have elevated field staff to a pay level responsible for paying more of their own health-care costs, according to the draft proposal the union was preparing this week.

[…]

The campaign workers decided to press harder. On July 11, dozens logged into Slack, the popular instant-messaging service used by the campaign’s employees, and began bombarding Shakir with appeals to raise pay for field organizers.

And all of this happening while Sanders is pressing for a $15 minimum wage on the campaign events and trashing Mcdonald's for not adopting such a policy. Not good. First, the senator couldn’t deal with the rampant allegations of sexism and sexual harassment that infested his 2016 campaign because…he was too busy running for president. Now, his executive staff is having a mess of a time trying to pay staff based on the policies he’s peddling out there. Bernie Sanders, so competent to be our next president that he cannot get a simple pay dispute with staff settled. Yeah, there’s inefficiency and hypocrisy here, two of the hallmark characteristics of socialism.