Democrat Debate Threatened Again by Another Union Labor Dispute

Debate chairs (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

The next Democrat debate, scheduled to take place at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, on Dec. 19, is being threatened by a union labor dispute like the one that caused the venue to be moved from UCLA.

The dispute does not directly involve the university. UNITE HERE Local 11 is in the midst of a collective bargaining agreement with a subcontractor, Sodexo, which provides food on the campus (and others). Politico reported Friday that there have been demonstrations on campus about the dispute since November.

As of 12:45 p.m. PT on Friday, every single one of the seven Democratic candidates who had qualified for the debate — and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who had not — said that they would not cross the union’s picket line, and that no Democratic candidates should:

The debate was moved from UCLA a month ago after the Association of Federal, State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union asked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) not to hold the debate there because of an ongoing dispute about short-term outsourcing.

California is considered an important battleground state in the 2020 primary because in 2016 it passed a law to move its primary day earlier, from the first week of June to the first week of March, where it will join other states across the nation on  “Super Tuesday,” the fifth contest of the primary season after the Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire primary, Nevada caucuses, and South Carolina primary.

The debate, if it is to take place, will be hosted by Politico and PBS NewsHour.

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 College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 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.

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