Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on Friday that his 2020 campaign had voluntarily recognized a bargaining unit organized with a labor union, making it the first major party presidential campaign to do so.
“I’m proud that our campaign is the first presidential campaign to unionize. We cannot just support unions with words, we must back it up with actions,” Sanders tweeted. “On this campaign and when we are in the White House, we are going make it easier for people to join unions, not harder.”
A majority of the Sanders campaign staffers decided upon United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 as the representative union, reported The Huffington Post. The union primarily represents food and retail service workers, however, it also represents employees of Solidarity Strategies, which is Chuck Rocha’s consulting firm; Rocha has a close relationship with Sanders, serving as his senior advisor on both his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
“Bernie Sanders is the most pro-union candidate in the field,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement. “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.”
After months of speculation, Sanders announced in February that he will enter the race to run for president on the Democratic ticket. He kicked off his campaign as the party’s frontrunner, consistently polling as the top contender behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to reveal his presidential aspirations. Of the candidates who have officially entered the race, Sanders has been leading the pack for months.
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