Staffers working for Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be working less hours to earn the $15/hour minimum wage. Sanders announced this on July 20, causing backlash from critics.
Critics claimed that Sanders’ announcement was hypocritical considering he had plans to raise the national minimum wage. They added that the move would only lead to higher unemployment rates and less work as businesses would be compelled to pay their employees more, encouraging them to find other ways to cut costs.
Reportedly, Sanders’ field staffers were unhappy about the candidate advocating for the $15/hour minimum wage and openly going against what they called “starvation wages,” as major corporations were not paying their employees enough. This was because Sanders’ campaign staffers were also paid “poverty wages.”
Sanders responded that he was proud to be the first to work with unionized workers in a major presidential campaign. However, he expressed his concern about how his internal problems had been leaked to the media.
Sanders went on to say that junior field organizers earn an estimated annual salary of $36,000, with sick leave and health care covered by the employer. He added that their earnings could go below $15/hour should staffers greatly exceed their 40 hours/week work, something that’s highly common in presidential campaigns.
The presidential candidate then mentioned that his solution was to limit the number of staffers’ work hours, restricting them to 42 or 43 a week. According to Sanders, this ensures that they could still earn an equivalent of $15/hour.
With regards to the internal strife being leaked to the media, Sanders said that he was indeed highly bothered about internal processes being made public. He added that it was improper and not what labor negotiations instill.