Our Working Lives

SANDERS’ PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 1ST IN U.S. HISTORY TO UNIONIZE

Originally published in the Summer 2019 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 59, printed August 23. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Summer 2019 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

Workers with the Bernie Sanders Campaign are now the first presidential campaign employees in U.S. history to win union representation. 

On Feb. 26, the Bernie 2020 Campaign and United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 signed a card check and neutrality agreement. By March 15, a majority of the campaign’s 44 bargaining unit-eligible employees had signed union cards, triggering recognition and a countdown to the launch of negotiations. 

Over the course of the campaign, the bargaining unit could potentially grow to more than 1,000 members. 

This victory resulted from the Bernie 2020 Campaign’s decision to stay neutral in the employees’ organizing drive and its agreement to recognize UFCW Local 400 when a majority of workers signed union cards. As a result, all campaign employees below the rank of deputy director are now represented by UFCW Local 400. 

The local 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.

Categories: Our Working Lives

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