Campaign staff is ‘expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages…’
The filing comes just days after Sanders’s campaign employees turned on the candidate to demand a pay raise and fewer hours.
The complaint, logged with the National Labor Relations Board, stemmed from an unnamed individual in Iowa.
It alleged that Sanders’s campaign environment fostered illegal interrogation and retaliation against staffers, according to Bloomberg Law.
The labor board’s Indianapolis office will launch an investigation into the charges to determine whether they have merit.
The complaint follows a tense showdown between Sanders and his staffers, who argued they were under compensated and mistreated. At the center of the controversy was Sanders’s alleged hypocrisy: He advocates for a $15/hour minimum wage but failed to pay his staffers that much.
Documents, emails, and messages obtained by The Washington Post indicate that the conflict dates back to May.
“We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports,” Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement.
“Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America,” Shakir said. “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.”
Staffers said they should not be “expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages” in response to the campaign’s comments.
“Given our campaign’s commitment to fighting for a living wage of at least $15.00 an hour, we believe it is only fair that the campaign would carry through this commitment to its own field team,” they said.