Sanders campaign officially unionizes

Sanders campaign officially unionizes
© UPI Photo

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Judd Gregg: Counting the costs of Democrats' desires 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 SwalwellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 jitters hit both parties in the Senate Democratic senators want candidates to take Swalwell's hint and drop out 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 BidenTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Biden pitches new subsidies, public option in health care plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke 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.