By: Grace Segers | CBS News
March 15, 2019
Staffers for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign are now the first-ever major party presidential campaign to unionize, according to a statement released Friday. The campaign said that the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 had been chosen by the majority of the bargaining employees to serve as their exclusive representative.
"Bernie Sanders is the most pro-union candidate in the field, he'll be the most pro-union president in the White House and we're honored that his campaign will be the first to have a unionized workforce," said campaign manager Faiz Shakir in a statement.
Sanders, who first vied for the Democratic nomination in 2016, has built his campaign platform on securing workers' rights, and fighting against economic inequality.
Jonathan Williams, the communications director for UFCW Local 400, said that the first step now that the union has been formed is to negotiate the contract.
"Once the contract has been negotiated and ratified by the membership, we will determine appropriate dues per our bylaws," Williams said. "Employees may exercise their right to strike under certain circumstances, as provided by federal labor law."
However, his campaign has recently come under scrutiny for alleged instances of sexual harassment by senior staffers during the 2016 campaign. Sanders apologized to the women who were harassed in January.
"To the women on my 2016 campaign who were harassed or mistreated, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for speaking out. I apologize," Sanders said in a statement posted to Twitter. "Clearly we need a cultural revolution in this country to change workplace attitudes and behavior. I intend in every way to be actively involved in that process."