WASHINGTON — If you look closely at the bottom of virtually every yard sign, postcard or door-hanger distributed by any Democratic campaign, you’ll find a symbolic commitment to organized labor — a small seal certifying that it was printed by union workers.
The campaign staffer handing out those yard signs, however, is almost certainly not part of a union.
They are likely working around the clock, at below-minimum-wage, in an industry with unpredictable benefits, hiring and firing practices, and procedures for sexual harassment or other discrimination. They may even have to feed volunteers out of their own pockets.
But a new union is trying to change that by organizing campaign workers, forcing a conversation about why Democratic politicians often don’t treat their own workers the way their stump speeches demand workers in other industries be treated.
“The Democratic Party is a champion of labor rights, except where its own laborers are concerned,” reads the sign-on letter for the Campaign Workers Guild. “We sacrifice our health, financial security, and leisure time to support candidates and movements that we hope will make our society more prosperous, equitable, and inclusive. It’s time for our employers to live up to the values they publicly espouse.”
The CWG, which launched in February independently of any larger union, has so far organized 12 campaigns and progressive entities, with the ultimate goal of having a Democratic Party-wide collective bargaining agreement, as well as one for Republicans.
While the CWG declined to say how many campaigns they’ve tried to unionize or discuss ongoing efforts, they acknowledged encountering resistance from progressive candidates and organizations.
It’s part of a larger effort to make political work more sustainable, which advocates say is not only good for workers, but good for parties by helping to retain talent, and good for democracy itself by making the political class more representative of the country as a whole.
“Under the current system, it’s easier for some people to be involved in work for low or no pay, and it’s harder for other people, and those differences fall along race, class and gender lines,” said Mary Bruce, the Executive Director of the B.A. Rudolph Foundation, which advocates for the inclusion of more women in policy and politics.
Read the rest at: Unions Dont Care