Patterico's Pontifications


Bernard Sanders’ Unionized Campaign Workers Demand More Pay, Free Health Care

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:26 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Well this is certainly a fun story:

Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications.

Campaign field hires have demanded an annual salary they say would be equivalent to a $15-an-hour wage, which Sanders for years has said should be the federal minimum. The organizers and other employees supporting them have invoked the senator’s words and principles in making their case to campaign manager Faiz Shakir, the documents reviewed by The Washington Post show.

The Sanders campaign is paying field hires a flat $36,000 salary, but these workers are allegedly facing six-day, sixty-hour workweeks, which brings the hourly rate down to around $11.50. Naturally, the workers, who are unionized and affiliated with the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400, have taken to heart the demagoguery of the angry old Marxist and are complaining that they are barely managing to survive, using payday loans to help through the hard times and struggling to afford food.

But I am not so sure that this is an instance of hypocrisy on the part of the Vermont Senator, at least not the traditional hypocrisy of “do as I say, not as I do.” The Bezos Bugle explains:

[O]n May 17, [campaign manager Faiz] Shakir convened an all-staff meeting, during which he recommended raising the pay for field organizers to $42,000 and changing the workweek specifications, according to an email he later wrote to staff. The union draft indicated he was seeking to extend the workweek to six days.

Shakir pressed for a swift vote so he could make budget decisions and decide how many field organizers to hire, according to his email.

The union rejected his offer, because the raise would have elevated field staff to a pay level responsible for paying more of their own health-care costs, according to the draft proposal the union was preparing this week. [emphasis added]

How do you like them apples? Senator-Medicaid-for-All ain’t springing for “free” healthcare and the earnest progressive field staff doesn’t want to jeopardize their access to Obamacare vouchers by taking in more salary. So naturally, they have a two-pronged demand: raise their pay to $46,800 and cover 100% of health care costs for any staffer who makes below $60,000. Mr. Shakir understandably complains that the campaign’s budget has already been drawn-up and approved based upon the original figures, and changes at this point would impact the number they can afford to employ. It is unknown whether or not the Senator has been apprised of the situation. The Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro campaigns also have unionized campaign staff, so it will be interesting to find out if they are facing similar challenges.

I have an idea for the Sanders campaign. How about the field staffers stay with their $36k salaries and Obamacare vouchers and just dial-back their work-week to 40 hours? That would keep them at the $15 per hour wage ($17.30 per hour, to be exact). Maybe if the campaign really is pressuring them to work more than 40 hours, the campaign can do the woke progressive thing and pay time-and-a-half for overtime. And if the campaign decides that this costs too much money and decrees that all Sanders workers limit their workweeks to 40 hours, then the workers will get a taste of how the world of private business actually works which might disabuse them of some of their dopier economic notions. Given that young workers in progressive campaigns have a sad predilection for — how to put it gently? — leading less-than-joyous lives, a 40-hour limit might encourage them to develop a personal life outside of their own little bubbles and make them happier and better-adjusted citizens.

In the meantime, though, it’s fun watching progressives hoisted on their own petards.


26 Responses to “Bernard Sanders’ Unionized Campaign Workers Demand More Pay, Free Health Care”

  1. It would seem that some disgruntled campaign workers are leaking these internal debates to the Washington Post. That has to be frustrating for the campaign leadership.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. Socialist worker’s utopia always looks so good on paper…

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. From the Progressive perspective, the problem is that the workers have to pay anything for health care. It should all come for free, paid for by those rich people making over $60K a year.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  4. What’s Bernie doing having a campaign in the first place? He’s 77 years old. “Just park yourself in your rocking chair and whittle on a stick, old man!”

    nk (dbc370)

  5. This doesn’t surprise me at all. During the last presidential campaign, some Bernie bros came to my house. We chatted a bit, and they told me how Americans needed their college debt paid off and that college to be free for everyone. They also pushed the company line about free health insurance – no holds barred, open borders, and the usual schlock. Anyway, while they spewed on, an opportune moment arose to remind them that the private university they were currently attending costs $67,000/year, and that the philosophy and ecology major maybe needed to get themselves a job to help pay for their steep tuition. Or better yet, I said, why not enlist in the service for four years and go to school on the GI bill. Or an even better idea: go to a two year community college and then transfer into the four year, and work part-time. One of them made a comment about the socio-economic standing of the neighborhood, and how this part of town wasn’t concerned about things like their needs. I’d had it at that point, and pointed to my brown skin and said, do you think my brown skin garnered me any help along the way to get to this neighborhood? I told them we worked incredibly hard throughout our lives without expecting or demanding our government/fellow taxpayers cover the costs to get to the point where we were comfortable. I explained that I us incredibly blessed to have worked as hard as we had for the life we have. I was livid. Some little whiny punks telling me I need to pay for them to attend a posh school and not work to help pay their own way? I don’t think so. I made sure they were rightly embarrassed and ashamed. They mumbled a thank you for my time and took off to look for an easier mark.

    Geez, it was like wrangling toddlers all over again…

    Dana (bb0678)

  6. Frmer California Governor Jerry Brown would surpass all of them, and is exactly the kind of moderate Democrat who could beat Trump, but he said he knows his age.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  7. This is fun, and what a good read.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. It’s a pity for Bernie that he can’t torture them, throw them in a gulag, or run them over with tanks, like a real socialist.

    The system runs so much smoother when you have all the pieces in place…

    Dave (1bb933)

  9. Rendell aged too poorly, but he would be another “sane” contendah. PA has re-elected Ds in Gov. Wolf and Sen. Casey but they don’t scale.

    urbanleftbehind (2194d9)

  10. Hes too sane, and he has a #metoo problem,,but mostly the former, doc brown is old news someone stole his flux capacitor

    Narciso (c67b88)

  11. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs, man.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. Shakir sounded familiar he started out working for American regress (now in a fire sale) then for miss palomino and the creep from searchlight, be waz loaned out to lurch, you see how they leave in them in the dark like myshrooms

    Narciso (c67b88)

  13. ‘You ask yourself, how did I get here’ where this gunk appeals to anyone smaller than a tiny fraction of people, this kind of envy and economic illiteracy is inculcated it’s not native

    Narciso (c67b88)

  14. Here’s a real palate cleanser, to send you off to dreamland!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. That makes a Rick roll seem pleasant

    Narciso (c67b88)

  16. Dude was meant to belt show tunes…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. Men who worship and adore Hillary Clinton greatly confuse me.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  18. Women who worship and adore Bill Clinton greatly confuse me.

    mg (8cbc69)

  19. I’d bet they confuse themselves, as well.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  20. Bernie should go back to his ancestral homeland in Poland (via Moscow, where he honeymooned) and think of a better way to pay his staff.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  21. Men who worship and adore Hillary Clinton greatly confuse me.

    Unresolved Oedipal conflicts. Sigmund Freud had a well-thought-out theory about that, but the modern psychiatric establishment has largely renounced it, the mother____ers.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Evangelicals who worship and adore Trump is what confuses me. He is the personification of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. This is a great post JVW and lays it out very well.

    But oh that Post headline:

    Labor fight roils Bernie Sanders campaign, as workers demand the $15 hourly pay the candidate has proposed for employees nationwide

    The Bernie Bros are ballistic that this is an attempt by the Dems via the Post to smear Sanders.

    One thing for sure, they’d never write a headline like this for Hillary in 2016.

    2008? Sure, but not 2016.

    Still waiting to see the epic war between Harris & Warren if Central Planning succeeds in taking out Grandpa Joe.

    harkin (f611c5)

  24. It doesn’t matter if Bernie goes down, Kamala Kirsten corey are his urchins, there is no sane Democrat, so who are you going to vote for?

    Narciso (c67b88)

  25. Same one I voted for in 2016, Nona DeAbuv

    harkin (f611c5)

  26. This is more than hypocrisy. It exemplifies the inherent problem of socialism: human beings naturally seek their own self-interest. No matter how much you emphasize the collective goods, people seek their own good, and that of their family, before the collective whole.

    And that leads to rampant corruption in socialist countries. I recently read the memoirs of someone who lived in the Soviet Union from around the 1920s until he was let out in 1970. Much of it deals with his efforts to maintain a religious life in a communist country. But there are many references to dealing with the system that indicate it was fundamentally corrupt. If you wanted something, you had to bribe someone, since the legitimate market was state-controlled. Such much of ordinary life was built around bribes and corruption. It’s a hell of a way to run a country.

    Which reminds me of Reagan’s quip:

    Socialism only works in heaven, where they don’t need it, and in hell, where they already have it.

    Bored Lawyer (44d9c7)

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