Biden Wants a Unionized Campaign Staff
Joe Biden likes to say he’s the most pro-union president in U.S. history. When he announces his expected reelection campaign in the coming weeks, he’ll get the chance to prove it to his own staffers.
Workers on his 2024 campaign will be unionized, political allies say, making him the first president to run a reelection campaign with staff represented by a union. That means hammering out a collectively bargained agreement that could establish salary minimums, set work hours and offer overtime pay, among other things, easing the demands on a workforce that has historically been required to put in long hours for meager pay and guaranteed joblessness after Election Day.
The move allows Biden to further demonstrate to his base just how deep his pro-labor convictions are, providing a strong contrast with his Republican opponents, whose staffers aren’t likely to embrace unionizing. It also means extra work for those at the top of Biden’s campaign to negotiate a contract and could present financial and workforce constraints, but union organizers and Democratic operatives insist that having a unionized staff would only make Biden’s 2024 bid stronger.
“The marquee name, the person who’s running, wants the cred for being union,” said Janice Fine, a Rutgers University professor of labor studies and employment relations and director of the workplace justice [email protected]. “But the people who are running the campaign are going to have more trepidation because they know what it takes to actually lift up a campaign.”
Now, yes, it’s mostly symbolic. But on the merits, campaign staffs are often extremely exploited workers, with stress levels through the roof leading to people on campaigns taking out their frustrations on the younger staffers. Plus there’s the ridiculous hours. It’s not a healthy kind of work. A union really helps here.
And honestly, if you don’t welcome a unionized campaign staff in 2024, are you even really a Democrat? I don’t mean just at the presidential level. I’m talking anyone running for Congress or governor too.