Staffers for presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have drafted a letter to campaign manager Faiz Shakir complaining that they are making “poverty wages,” and demanding he pay them a $15 per hour minimum wage.
The Washington Post reported:
A draft letter union members earlier had prepared to send Shakir as soon as this week said that the field organizers “cannot be expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages. 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.”
The draft letter estimated that field organizers were working 60 hours per week at minimum, dropping their average hourly pay to less than $13. It said that “many field staffers are barely managing to survive financially, which is severely impacting our team’s productivity and morale. Some field organizers have already left the campaign as a result.”
Sanders has committed to supporting a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour — despite evidence from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that it would lead to massive job losses. (As the New York Times noted last month, the CBO found that a $15 per hour minimum wage — which the Democrat-run House of Representatives will vote on soon — “would lift 1.3 million people out of poverty but also put an estimated 1.3 million Americans out of work.”)
The Sanders campaign also took pride earlier this year in being the first to unionize its workforce. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) also unionized his campaign, but dropped out shortly after the first Democratic debate.
Last year, staffers on Sanders’s 2016 campaign came forward with allegations of “sexual violence and harassment.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.