Castro campaign staffers announce unionization

Castro campaign staffers announce unionization
© Greg Nash

Julián Castro's 2020 campaign has officially unionized, the former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary's staff announced Wednesday.

In an email sent to supporters Thursday night, a spokesman for Castro's campaign said the move to unionize came after staff unanimously signed cards with the Campaign Workers Guild (CWG).

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"Secretary Castro takes a backseat to no one when it comes to supporting his staff. He was the first candidate to pledge to pay interns $15/hour, the first to put together a staff manual with a strong sexual harassment policy, and he was the first to support his staff forming a union to ensure the employees of his campaign are not left behind in advancing his vision for the future of our nation," spokesman Sawyer Hackett said.

"I'm proud to announce that our campaign has availed ourself of that support and formed a recognized union with the Campaign Workers Guild," Hackett added.

The news comes just one day after Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2020 campaign announced it had unionized. Sanders's campaign unionized with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 on Wednesday.

Campaign manager Maya Rupert said Castro had supported his staff's union efforts since his campaign launched officially earlier this year.

"Secretary Castro has publicly supported the unionization of his campaign staff since he launched. Unions are a critical component of our democracy, and the teams of people who work to elect our leaders should do so with the protections of union organizing,” Rupert said. “We are extremely happy to be the first presidential campaign to take this step with the Campaign Workers Guild, and we look forward to bargaining in good faith.”

The announcement comes a month after Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHickenlooper ends presidential bid Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds Nadler hits gas on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), another 2020 hopeful, announced that his campaign would recognize a union formed by staffers as members of the Teamsters union, though it was unclear if a deal was reached at the time of the announcement.

Unionization efforts in the Sanders campaign have been recognized as the first among a major presidential campaign, since they began in March.