Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign staffers are now among several hundred 2020 campaign workers who have unionized.
In doing so, the campaign joins the likes of the staffers who work for the presidential campaigns of Julián Castro, Eric Swalwell, and Bernie Sanders.
In a tweet Thursday morning, Warren said, “Every worker who wants to join a union, bargain collectively, & make their voice heard should have a chance to do so. The labor movement has long fought for the dignity of working people, & we’re proud to be part of it.”
My campaign has submitted their support to join @IBEW 2320. Every worker who wants to join a union, bargain collectively, & make their voice heard should have a chance to do so. The labor movement has long fought for the dignity of working people, & we’re proud to be part of it.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 6, 2019
Warren’s staff announced Wednesday they joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320. The IBEW is the largest union of electrical workers in America and will represent more than 200 of Warren’s campaign staffers across the country.
Kevin Farley, a regional field director in Iowa for Swalwell’s campaign and a shop steward for the unionized campaign staff, told Starting Line they chose to unionize because “our campaign staff stands shoulder to shoulder with the union movement.”
“Every American worker deserves fair wages, protections, and benefits,” Farley said. “We are ensuring that applies to our team as well.”
Farley added that he thinks most union members are simply looking to bargain for a “fair shake” and to “ensure their hard work allows them to reasonably provide for themselves and their families.”
Swalwell’s campaign unionized in April. They joined the Teamsters Local 238, which also represents Iowa Democratic Party staffers.
Swalwell told Time Magazine he predicts there “will never be a presidential campaign, there will never be a Democratic field after this one, where a campaign is not organized.”
Cathy Glasson’s gubernatorial campaign staff set the unionizing trend in Iowa back in 2018. Her staff was the first campaign in Iowa to unionize, and only the second gubernatorial candidate in the nation to organize, according to Iowa Public Radio.
Glasson’s staff joined the Campaign Workers Guild. Her organizing director Michael Fasullo told IPR at the time, “It’s really important that electoral campaigns don’t just ask for votes from unions, but they are actually doing everything they possibly can to uplift and elevate workers’ abilities to find new ways to form and join unions.”
Fasullo is now the Iowa Field Director for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, which has also unionized.
According to Politico, Sanders’ campaign selected the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 to represent them. The union is 35,000 members strong and represents retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing service, and other industries across the country, according to the group’s website.
Campaign staffers working for Julián Castro have organized, joining the Campaign Workers Guild.
Castro’s deputy national press secretary, Sawyer Hackett, was among those who unionized. In a news release he boasted Castro was also the first candidate to pledge to pay his interns $15 an hour.
“Secretary Castro takes a backseat to no one when it comes to supporting his staff,” Hackett said.
According to the Associated Press, Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said they’d support their workers organizing.
Former vice president Joe Biden’s presidential campaign told the Associated Press he would “welcome it” if his campaign unionized, but said his campaign aims to offer good enough pay and benefits to make it unnecessary.
by Paige Godden
Warren, Castro photos by Julie Fleming