2020 Candidates Threaten to Skip Debate Because of Labor Dispute

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The seven Democratic candidates who have qualified for next week’s presidential debate in California threatened to skip it on Friday, saying they will not cross a picket line of union workers embroiled in a labor dispute.

Unite Here Local 11, a union representing food workers at debate host Loyola Marymount University, have promised to picket the site ahead of next Thursday’s debate as they continue negotiations on a contract with Sodexo, the company that employs them.

After the union informed the candidates of the planned picket line on Friday, all of the debate participants quickly issued statements of support.

“I won’t be crossing a picket line,” former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted. “We’ve got to stand together with @UNITEHERE11 for affordable health care and wages.”

U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, billionaire activist Tom Steyer and entrepreneur Andrew Yang also promised they would not cross the picket line.

“I take the debate stage to stand up for workers’ rights, not to undermine them,” Buttigieg said in a tweet, while Warren tweeted the union was fighting for better wages “and I stand with them.”

The Democrats are fighting for the nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

The Democratic National Committee, which sponsors the debate, said it had just learned of the issue on Friday and would never ask the party’s presidential contenders to cross a picket line.

“We are working with all stakeholders to find an acceptable resolution that meets their needs and is consistent with our values and will enable us to proceed as scheduled with next week’s debate,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, a DNC spokeswoman.

Sodexo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The union said it represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers and servers at the university who work for Sodexo, a global services company that subcontracts with the university for food service operations.

The union said in a statement it has been in negotiations since March for a new collective bargaining agreement, and the company canceled scheduled negotiations last week.

“We had hoped that workers would have a contract with wages and affordable health insurance before the debate next week. Instead, workers will be picketing when the candidates come to campus,” said Susan Minato, co-president of Unite Here Local 11.

(Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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General Confusion

Phyllis: You might also want add Buckley v. Valeo to CU.


There is another one, too, but I can’t remember it right now.


>Always Confused<

IF you didn't have such a huge CONTUSION perched on your shoulders, maybe you wouldn't be so CONFUSED day in and day out. The only one who is "confused" here is YOU. YOU have even admitted it. Get some help (Maybe your mentors Commie Bernie or Socialist George Soros will give you some of their green.)

Phyllis Softa

Jeffrey Moore, (reply to Brad) You are 28 years too late in your proposal. Sitting members of Congress have NOT been able to accept speaking fees since 1991. Campaign finance laws DO have limits on donations, THUS the development of PAC’s to get around them. You may also wish to google Citizens United decision. That would need to be overturned to achieve your goals.


Sure they will make a big deal to stand for the “people” now. Good publicity. They wouldn’t spit on union worker unless it was to better themselves. They are PIGs. I have just insulted a pig. Sorry pig

General Confusion

King Donald The Loser is such a putz.

Nothing shows everyone how weak you are like when you won’t debate issues and defend or promote YOUR OWN policies and ideas. That is NOT a strongman. The only reason that he doesn’t want to debate is because he lost all three debates against a terrible opponent in 2016 and he KNOWS that someone like the seasoned debator Bernie Sanders would rip him apart on live television. KDTL is afraid.

Anyone defending Dear Leader’s threat to not debate is confused about how good politics works.


After the last few years I say we negotiate public employee wages, Senators, Congressmen, Bureaucrats, Lobbyists, Federal, some State and Local servants,…..most of them are the over paid under achievers……….they have achieved NOTHING in the last 3-1/2 years……and they weren’t even on strike!

Marlene Marty Fowler-helfrick

Good luck with getting an affordable wage in California. The cost of rent and food almost exceeds a millionaire’s pay.


GOOD! whoos cares what they have to say, it is all BLEPHORISM anyway! TRUMP IN 2020!





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