Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign will have a unionized workforce. The decision is a natural extension of the candidate’s policies and longstanding support for workers’ rights and a $15 per hour minimum wage. At present, the Sanders campaign has 44 eligible employees, but the union said it expects to represent more than 1,000 workers. This will mean pay parity and transparency on the campaign, with no gender bias or harassment, and equal treatment for every worker. Negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement will begin as soon as possible.
In October, graduate students at the University of Chicago became the latest to vote to unionize, despite opposition from administrators. Currently, 12 academic institutions host Graduate Student Unions. Penn students faced the same opposition when they voted for unionization last year.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a 1964 UChicago graduate, commented in a letter: “Having a union ends the arrangement where the employer makes all the decisions unilaterally, and institutes a legal process where your union organization collectively bargains with the employer regarding the issues you have identified as needing improvement. I respect the critical work you do every day, and wish you the very best in your efforts to create a democratic workplace where your voice can really be heard.”
Wall Street is in a panic at the thought of a President Bernie Sanders, claims Stephen Schwarzman of the private equity firm Blackstone. In an article in the Wall Street Journal he blamed recent global financial trauma on the “market’s fear” that Sanders could be elected. Schwarzman, who has been openly critical of President Obama’s proposals to end the “carried interest” tax, leads the effort to privatize Social Security and has a history of incendiary rhetoric. For example, when an employee was killed at SeaWorld (Blackstone’s largest investment), Schwarzman claimed the veteran animal trainer broke multiple safety rules before she was pulled into a tank and killed by an orca.
What does Wall Street have against Sanders? For one, Social Security. Furthermore, experts say, decades of lording over the economy have allowed Wall Street to design policies that almost guarantee the failure of any financial regulation, which would protect the middle class.