The Bernie Sanders campaign has a problem.
Wanting to show his solidarity with workers, Sanders encouraged his campaign staff to become the first unionized group in campaign history. His workers are now covered by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400. That’s fine, but the field organizers, typically the lowest group on the organizational chart, complained to their union reps that they weren’t earning $15 per hour, the minimum level of pay Bernie has demanded for all workers across America for years.
The campaign and the union came to an agreement: The Sanders campaign will pay at least $15 per hour to everyone, but many workers will see their hours cut to make it happen.
Apparently, the economic pie really is limited, and to give one person more requires that someone else get less. That is, unless Sanders wanted to use more campaign funds to pay workers while keeping their hours the same, or even kick in some of his own money, now that he’s a millionaire after writing a best-selling book. But it doesn’t look like either of those options are on the table.
And Bernie wasn’t happy with the process.
After the negotiations leaked, he said:
“It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media. That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it’s improper.”
Perhaps that’s what led to the next issue, when someone reported the campaign to the National Labor Relations Board, accusing leaders of “illegal employee interrogation and retaliation against staffers.”