How pro-union is presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders? So much so that on Friday, he announced that his 2020 campaign staff was unionizing with his approval.
The announcement came in a tweet, in which the self-declared socialist wrote:
I’m proud that our campaign is the first presidential campaign to unionize. We cannot just support unions with words, we must back it up with actions. On this campaign and when we are in the White House, we are going make it easier for people to join unions, not harder.
According to the HuffPost, the staffers decided to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. As the name implies, the union primarily represents food and retail service workers, but it also represents employees of Solidarity Strategies, a far-left consulting firm headed by Chuck Rocha, who served as Sanders’s senior advisor on both his 2016 run for the Democratic nomination.
Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s 2020 campaign manager, released a statement echoing the tweet. “Bernie Sanders,” he wrote, “is the most pro-union candidate in the field. He’ll be the most pro-union president in the White House and we’re honored that his campaign will be the first to have a unionized workforce.”
I give Sanders credit for putting his money where his mouth is, though I have to wonder if the Vermont senator has given enough thought to the decision to encourage his staff to go union. Political campaigns, even for seasoned veterans, can often be a grind, demanding long hours and little thanks, especially as the campaign enters the home stretch. Will Sanders regret his decision if around December of this year, his staff stages a walkout after negotiations over wages fail, throwing the campaign into chaos? More importantly will “boss” Sanders capitulate to the demands of his rank and file, or will he try to replace his ungrateful employees with scabs?
If nothing else, this fun scenario might open the senator’s eyes for the first time to the seamy underbelly of organized labor.