May 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign field organizers ratify union contract


Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Field organizers for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's 2020 campaign have ratified a collective bargaining agreement with "overwhelming support," the Biden campaign said in a joint statement with Teamsters Local 238.

Why it matters: It's the first time in history a major party's presumptive nominee will employ a campaign staff that's covered under a union agreement, according to Teamsters Local 238 secretary-treasurer Jesse Case. The deal includes overtime for work past 40 hours a week, 100% employer-paid insurance and a six-day workweek.

  • The agreement also guarantees a $15-per-hour minimum wage that will generate "an overall average increase of $1,900 in annual wages for field organizers," according to the campaign.
  • Biden campaign senior adviser Maju Varghese said in a statement: "We are proud that our campaign continues to live out the values that have defined Vice President Biden's career. ... Our hardworking field organizers are no exception, and their efforts are critical to our success at the ballot box this fall."

The big picture: The move comes as political candidates are forced to abandon traditional modes of campaigning as a result of the coronavirus. Tactics like door-knocking and rallies are restricted, and organizers are currently working to turn out the vote from home.

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