Biden's campaign unionizes as Harris aide resigns over poor working conditions

Evie Fordham

Roughly 120 campaign workers for former Vice President Joe Biden announced they were unionizing on Saturday amid fallout from the resignation of one of Sen. Kamala Harris' top aides, who said she had never seen an organization "treat its staff so poorly."

Biden national field organizers joined Teamsters Local Union 238 on Friday. The local already represents campaign workers for Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

The news comes just after Harris aide Kelly Mehlenbacher gave a damning assessment of the California senator's struggling campaign in her mid-November resignation letter. She accused the campaign of encouraging people to move across states — only to lay them off without notice.

"This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly," Mehlenbacher, then the state operations director for Harris’ campaign, said in the letter obtained by The New York Times. "While I still believe that Senator Harris is the strongest candidate to win in the General Election in 2020, I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership."

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Mehlenbacher has since joined former New York City Michael Bloomberg's campaign, joining as deputy chief operating officer. She had previously worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

The letter forms part of an in-depth report, featuring interviews with dozens of current and former aides, by the Times. The article marks how Harris, once surging at the top of the polls, has since plummeted amid a reportedly dysfunctional and often headless campaign.

According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls for the nomination, Harris was in second place in early July, commanding an average of 15 percent of primary voters. But since then, she has declined quickly.

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Now, RCP polls have her with an average of just under 4 percent — far behind candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden (27 percent), Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (18.3 percent), Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (15.8 percent), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (11 percent).

The Teamsters will host a presidential forum on Dec. 7 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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