2020 Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) might just have some trouble within his own campaign team when it comes to their pay.
While the senator pushes for a federal minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, his campaign staffers are reportedly complaining that they’re only making “poverty wages,” according to a letter received by The Washington Post. Sanders advocates for the wage increase to “at least $15 an hour” on his campaign website.
The campaign staffers wrote to Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir explaining how the 2020 Democrats’ own rhetoric doesn’t meet their needs.
They wrote in a draft letter that the staffers “cannot be expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages.”
They added, “Given our campaign’s commitment to fighting for a living wage of at least $15.00 an hour, we believe it is only fair that the campaign would carry through this commitment to its own field team.”
Those who were working a minimum of 60 hours per week saw their pay drop to under $13 per hour, the Post reports.
“Many field staffers are barely managing to survive financially, which is severely impacting our team’s productivity and morale,” the letter said. “Some field organizers have already left the campaign as a result.”
However, according to the Post, Sanders’ campaign manager responded on Thursday, “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports.” The Post noted that it was unsure if the 2020 Democrat knew of this situation.
“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. We have tremendous staff who are working hard. Bernie and I both strongly believe in the sanctity of the collective bargaining process and we will not deviate from our commitment to it.”
As IJR News reported, the House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claiming it was a “historic day.” Although Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, “We’re not going to be doing that in the Senate.”
Additionally, the idea of a hike of minimum wage across the U.S. to $15 per hour was criticized by Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who laid out the “truth” behind the policy, as IJR Red previously reported.