[Rushtalk] Bernie Sanders Workers Become First Presidential Campaign Staff to Ratify Union Contract

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Fri Jul 19 12:31:49 MDT 2019


Note the old commie is too cheap to follow his own advice.  Hoisted on
his own petard.  What a retard the left leadership has become.

Bernie Sanders Workers Become First Presidential Campaign Staff to
Ratify Union Contract
May 08, 2019 
Bernie 2020 staff union

CONTACT:
Jonathan Williams, Communications Director, UFCW Local 400,
jwilliams at local400.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 8, 2019) — In a groundbreaking development, Bernie
Sanders campaign workers — now proud UFCW Local 400 union members —
ratified the first collective bargaining agreement by a presidential
campaign.

In taking this historic step forward, they are also revolutionizing the
nature of presidential campaign work, which has traditionally been known
for its 24/7 demands and difficult working conditions.

Their contract sets new standards for their field, doing so in a way
that will dramatically improve their quality of life without hindering
the Bernie 2020 campaign’s ability to compete for votes and delegates.

“I am so proud to be taking this historical step of becoming the
first-ever presidential campaign with a unionized workforce,” said
Krista Harness, a Senior Development Manager who served on the
bargaining committee that led negotiations on behalf of the union. “I
know that our newly ratified union contract will make our workplace more
equitable, fair and resilient, and our overall campaign will be much
stronger with the protections we were able to win for the workers.”

“What this union pulled off will change the way presidential campaigns
are run in this country,” said Bianca Márquez, a member of the
campaign’s digital team. “Representing a talented and diverse group of
campaign staffers at the bargaining table and in a contract was no easy
task, but we came together in support of one common goal: achieving the
best contract possible and setting a new standard for the industry. As a
member of the bargaining committee for the Bernie 2020 staff union, I
could not be more proud of what we collectively accomplished.”

“Political campaigns are cause-driven and because there is always more
work that can be done, staffers are typically worked to the bone,” said
Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “But it doesn’t have to be this
way. Even political work must be subject to minimum standards. I
congratulate our members on the Bernie Sanders campaign for making their
own revolution.”

For many employees, this was their first experience forming a union at
their workplace.

“You feel more at ease knowing you’re backed up by the strength of the
union,” explained Reg Ledesma, an intern at the DC campaign headquarters
who served on the bargaining committee. “This has been the first union
I’ve been a part of, and I’m proud to be part of a historical moment!”

Working long hours is not unusual in the hectic campaign environment,
and all too often employees are disincentivized from taking time off
even when they need it. To address this challenge, the collective
bargaining agreement establishes a clear but flexible workweek, as well
as days off each month where the employee is not on call. It provides
breaks throughout the day, including meal breaks, as well as mandatory
time off between particularly long shifts. The negotiated agreement also
doubled paid vacation time from 10 to 20 days per year.

The contract sets clearly defined wages and benefits along with the
opportunity for employees to earn performance raises. Field organizers,
who will eventually constitute the vast majority of campaign staff, will
have 100 percent of their health care premiums paid for by the campaign.
And interns in the national headquarters will make a minimum of $20/hour
along with full medical benefits. All hourly employees are entitled to
overtime pay. In addition to health insurance, the contract provides
broad coverage for mental health care services.

And in keeping with Senator Sanders’ emphasis on fighting income
inequality, the contract puts a cap on management pay proportional to
union employees’ salaries. Pay transparency provisions and a pay equity
review process are also established for employees who feel they are
being unfairly underpaid.

The first-of-its-kind agreement also includes robust anti-discrimination
provisions as well as comprehensive protections for immigrant and
transgender workers. And it establishes employee-led Labor Committees to
address ongoing working conditions and other issues with management.

All of this was made possible due to the adoption of fair labor
practices by the Bernie 2020 campaign. On February 26th, the campaign
agreed to remain neutral in the organizing campaign and to recognize
Local 400 if a majority of workers signed union cards. This milestone
was reached on March 15th, making it the first presidential campaign
staff in history to unionize. Contract negotiations commenced shortly
afterward, led by a committee of staff from the campaign. Negotiations
were productive and the collective bargaining agreement was ratified on
May 2nd by a majority vote of union employees.

“This was a model experience in every respect,” Federici said. “First,
Senator Sanders walked the talk on unions, agreeing to a truly
democratic process — neutrality and card check — that every responsible
employer should embrace. And then, the campaign engaged in good faith
bargaining, recognizing that it’s in their own interest to have
well-treated employees empowered to operate at the top of their games. I
urge every other campaign to follow their lead.”

John Marzabadi, who works on the advance team and served on the
bargaining committee, echoed the call for other campaigns to organize.
“I’m very proud of what our bargaining committee has accomplished to
improve the working conditions and overall welfare of our campaign
staff. In my view, the most worker-friendly campaign in the race ought
to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Our contract sets the
standard for others to not only follow, but to expand upon and I
encourage fellow campaign workers to organize and collectively bargain
for their rights.”

###

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 represents 35,000
members working in the retail food, health care, retail department
store, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland,
Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

http://www.ufcw400.org/2019/05/08/bernie-sanders-workers-become-first-presidential-campaign-staff-to-ratify-union-contract/


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