All of the Democrat POTUS candidates who have qualified for the next debate, scheduled for Dec 19 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, have said they will not cross a picket line to take part in the debate, putting the DNC in a very bad position.
The debate was originally scheduled to take place at UCLA but was relocated due to a labor dispute between the university and AFSCME Local 3299. Now, food service workers employed by Sodexo and assigned to LMU are on strike. The workers belong to UNITE HERE Local 11 and are fighting with Sodexo for “fair wages and affordable healthcare.” UNITE HERE’s local co-president, Susan Minato, said:
“We had hoped that workers would have a contract with wages and affordable health insurance before the debate next week. Instead, workers will be picketing when the candidates come to campus.”
Minato’s co-president, Ada Briceno, is also the chairwoman of the Democrat Party of Orange County. (What a coincidence.) She told the LA Times:
“We felt it was imperative to let the candidates know and understand what our labor dispute is and the fact that we will be out there [picketing] the day they were supposed to be at the debate.”
Briceno admits that the plan to picket is a way to pressure Sodexo into concessions. “It feels good” that the candidates won’t cross the picket line, she said, and it shows that:
“It’s not just words, but they’re walking the walk, it’s action. We’re enlisting the help of the candidates and the general public to help us reach an agreement.”
It’s possible that the DNC could find an alternate location before the 19th. If they do they’d better make sure there aren’t any pending labor disputes at that location, since it’s become abundantly clear that every single Dem candidate is 100 percent controlled by union threats.