Teamsters Unionize Joe Biden Field Staff, ‘Guarantee’ $15/Hour Wage

Volunteers call potential caucus-goers at a campaign field office for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

Joe Biden’s campaign field staff has been unionized by the Teamsters.

“For the first time in history, the campaign staff for a presumptive nominee of a major political party will be covered under a union agreement,” Jesse Case, Local 238 secretary-treasurer, told the HuffPost.

“We are pleased to announce that Biden for President field organizers, represented by Teamsters Local 238, have ratified a collective bargaining agreement effective May 1.”

The contract, negotiated by the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based union, “includes overtime pay for all hours worked after 40 in a week, 100 percent employer-paid health insurance, a six-day work week, a union grievance procedure and other protections afforded by a union contract” for about 100 workers, The Hour reported.

The agreement will also guarantee a wage “above $15” an hour.

According to the HuffPost, it will equate to about a $1,900 hike in annual pay for the field workers.

Biden’s campaign isn’t the first to unionize.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign was organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, and soon after was hit with complaints from unhappy workers.

The Washington Post reported in 2019:

A draft letter union members earlier had prepared to send [campaign manager Faiz] 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.”

Teamsters Local 238 would not provide a copy of its agreement with the Biden campaign to Breitbart News.


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