Sanders, Warren, Yang, Biden, Buttigieg Threaten to Skip Next Dem Debate Over Labor Dispute at Venue (UPDATED)

A few major Democratic candidates are indicating they may skip next week’s Democratic debate at Loyola Marymount University if it means they would have to cross a union picket line.

You may recall that the Democratic National Committee withdrew from holding the debate at UCLA over a labor dispute. At the time, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299 called for a boycott over “ongoing labor disputes over outsourcing, income inequality and alleged illegal labor practices” and asked candidates not to cross picket lines.

Right now there’s a labor dispute going on at Loyola Marymount, the new venue for next week’s debate. Per HuffPost:

LMU has a contract with Sodexho for its food service operations. Unite Here Local 11 represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers and servers employed by Sodexo who prepare and serve meals for students and university employees.

Susan Minato, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, said the union has been in negotiations with the company over a contract for the past month ― but it all broke down on Friday.

“Honestly, the proposals are relatively modest ― living wage, improvements on health care,” she said. “So we did not anticipate that there would be majority difficulty over it. But we were wrong. They abruptly canceled negotiations. I believe they were for today. And so that put us in the position of really declaring that this is a true fight now.”

So far, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Andrew Yang have indicated they will not cross picket lines at the university (UPDATE — now Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg have too):

Julián Castro has not qualified for the debate but he also shared his support and said, “no candidate for the Democratic nomination should cross a picket line”:

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac