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Sanders campaign officially unionizes

Sanders campaign officially unionizes
© UPI Photo

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Biden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic MORE’s (I-Vt.) 2020 campaign has officially unionized, staff announced Wednesday.

The Sanders campaign said that management had reached a deal with staff on a union contract that addresses pay transparency, gender equality and mental health services, among other issues.

“We are proud of our workers and proud to uphold Bernie's commitment to collective bargaining rights and a strong labor movement,” said campaign manager Faiz Shakir. “Together, we have achieved some of the strongest standards for campaign workers in history and set the bar higher for the next generation of campaigners.

"When Bernie Sanders is in the White House, he will make it easier, not harder, to join a union and we look forward to running a campaign powered by union workers." 

Fellow 2020 candidate Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell compares Trump to bin Laden: They 'inspired and radicalized' Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump MORE (D-Calif.) said last month that his staff had unionized, though it is unclear if his campaign struck a deal. Sanders's campaign is thought to be the first to officially unionize.

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The Sanders campaign said the contract lays out protocols for pay transparency and gender equality; defines a wage scale and opportunities for performance-based raises; provides mental health services; creates labor committees to address working conditions and standards at field offices; and outlines a “robust anti-discrimination policy and comprehensive protections for immigrant and transgender workers.”

A day earlier, the campaign announced new guidelines to address sexual harassment within the campaign, following allegations that stemmed from the Vermont senator's 2016 run. 

Earlier this year, several women who worked on Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign said they had been harassed by their bosses. 

Sanders has apologized but says he was unaware of the allegations at the time.

The announcement about the campaign unionizing came shortly after the Vermont senator addressed the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers at an event in Washington.

The 2020 candidates are angling for support from the labor movement. So far, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE has been endorsed by the International Association of Fire Fighters union, but most groups are withholding their endorsements as they’re courted by the big field of contenders.