2020 Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders keeps pledging to American workers that he would institute a $15-per-hour minimum wage if he wins the White House in 2020. But unionized workers on Bernie’s own campaign say they wish he practiced what he preaches.
In a letter to Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir, the campaign staffers say they “cannot be expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages,” the Washington Post reports.
“Given our campaign’s commitment to fighting for a living wage of at least $15.00 an hour,” the letter continues, “we believe it is only fair that the campaign would carry through this commitment to its own field team.”
Field organizers say that their long hours working on behalf of the self-described democratic socialist drop their actual pay to about $13 per hour.
“Many field staffers are barely managing to survive financially,” the union letter says, “which is severely impacting our team’s productivity and morale. Some field organizers have already left the campaign as a result.”
In response, Faiz Shakir, Sanders campaign manager said: “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports, Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America. Bernie Sanders is the most pro-worker and pro-labor candidate running for president.”
As for Bernie Sanders himself, the Post said it was unclear whether the candidate was aware of the grievances among his campaign staff.
The Washington Post report surfaced on the same day that the Democrat-controlled House voted in favor of a bill to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, unchanged since 2009.
During a campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., president Trump said 6 million new jobs have been created in the U.S. since he was elected and the nation’s unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was at its lowest point in decades.
Republican leaders have said a minimum wage hike would be “devastating” for middle-class families, citing research from the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO report found that the Democrats’ bill would boost wages for about 17 million people – but it would also reduce business income, raise consumer prices and reduce the nation’s output. Overall, the CBO said the move would reduce real family income by about $9 billion in 2025 – or 0.1 percent.
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