Sanders joins striking workers at UCLA in first 2020 California visit
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren MORE (I-Vt.) on Wednesday joined striking workers at UCLA in his first appearance in California since declaring his 2020 presidential candidacy, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Sanders joined members of the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) to give a speech before the picket line, according to the Times.

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“I’m here today not as a candidate for president but as somebody who has spent the last 40 years of his life walking the picket lines for unionized workers,” Sanders said, according to the Times. “What we are seeing all across this country is a war being waged against working people in America.”

Sanders’s visit to the Golden State comes a week after his presidential campaign announced it will unionize, the first campaign of a major-party candidate to do so. Sanders campaign workers will be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400.

“Bernie Sanders 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,” campaign manager Faiz Shakir said last Friday.

UPTE, an affiliate of the Communication Workers of America, has been in talks with UCLA over wages and outsourcing issues for nearly two years and was joined by members of patient care union AFSCME Local 3299, which is also currently in contract negotiations with UCLA, according to the newspaper.

University of California spokeswoman Claire Doan told the Times the union’s demands were unsustainable.

“Not everyone has all the facts about UPTE and AFSCME leaders demanding unreasonable and unrealistic raises that are far beyond those given to other UC employees,” she told the paper.

Sanders is just one of a handful of Democratic hopefuls to have made recent visits to California. Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJuan Williams: Warren on the rise Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE (D-Minn.) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee both visited the state recently, according to the Times.

Sanders is slated to participate in events in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego later this week, according to the news outlet.