Bernie Sanders’s campaign workers demand at least the $15/hour minimum wage he promises to implement
There is now self-evidently no reason whatsoever to take seriously anything that Bernie Sanders says; the man does not follow the rules he thinks others should observe. The Vermont senator who has spent years denouncing companies like Walmart for allegedly paying “starvation” wages is facing his own campaign workers’ demand that he pay them at least what he demands the federal minimum wage to be: $15/hr.
The story is so compelling that even the Bezos-owned Washington Post broke the story, heedless of the fact that Amazon, which generated the money for Bezos to buy the Post, faces its own critics over its wage levels for fulfillment center staff.
Don’t be fooled by the open collar and no top hat. A ruthless exploiter of the working class
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Sean Sullivan reports (non-paywall version here – because you really should read the whole thing):
Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications.
Campaign field hires have demanded an annual salary they say would be equivalent to a $15-an-hour wage, which Sanders for years has said should be the federal minimum. The organizers and other employees supporting them have invoked the senator’s words and principles in making their case to campaign manager Faiz Shakir, the documents reviewed by The Washington Post show.
Sanders has made standing up for workers a central theme of his presidential campaigns — this year marching with McDonald’s employees seeking higher wages, pressing Walmart shareholders to pay workers more and showing solidarity with university personnel on strike. The independent from Vermont has proudly touted his campaign as the first presidential effort to unionize its employees, and his defense of the working class has been a signature element of his brand of democratic socialism and a rallying cry for the populist movement he claims to lead.
Sanders is, like all socialists, generous with other people’s money. But when his own organization’s money is at issue, well, it’s different.
His campaign’s defense sounds a lot like the excuses global corporation use for employing child labor overseas and paying them pennies per hour:
The Sanders campaign late Thursday issued a statement lauding its union contract. “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports,” Shakir said. “Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America. Bernie Sanders is the most pro-worker and pro-labor candidate running for president. We have tremendous staff who are working hard. Bernie and I both strongly believe in the sanctity of the collective bargaining process and we will not deviate from our commitment to it.”
Socialists promise an imaginary world, and that’s why whenever socialism is put into practice, it fails. What makes Sanders so notable is that he seems to realize that the practicality of his prescription for others is so low that he cannot take his own medicine.