Pete Buttigieg’s Campaign Staff Is Unionizing

The Buttigieg campaign staff union will represent workers with the title of “organizer.” (Photo: Mario Tama via Getty Images)

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign organizers are forming a union, joining the campaigns of Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in doing so.

Buttigieg’s campaign still needs to reach a contract agreement with the workers, who are joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2321, which is based in North Andover, Massachusetts. The union will only represent campaign staff with the title of “organizer.” 

The agreement means three of the four leading Democratic presidential campaigns are now unionized. Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is not. Campaign unions began forming in earnest during the 2018 midterm elections, as the often-young workers who serve as field organizers looked for ways to secure better pay and benefits and more stable working hours. 

“We are proud to work for a candidate who has proposed a bold economic agenda that would restore workers’ rights, expand collective bargaining rights, and make it easier for workers to unionize,” Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “We’ve always said we would live our values and support our staff if they wanted to form a union and today, we are proud to keep that commitment.”

In a statement, the leaders of the Buttigieg campaign union said they hoped their work to create a dialogue between campaign staffers would “benefit everyone; not only on this particular campaign, but for future campaigns and for individuals who seek to join the profession.”

“We believe in Pete and look forward to an America where all workers have the right to unionize without interference and to collectively bargain for fair pay and benefits,” the organizers wrote. “Because we believe, as Pete does, in unions for all, we have chosen to unionize with IBEW Local 2321.”

It’s unclear what exact benefits and guarantees Buttigieg campaign staffers will be able to secure. The Sanders’ campaign contract, for instance, includes a $15 minimum wage and a guarantee of four days off a month. 

Buttigieg’s campaign notified employees about the union’s formation in an email earlier this afternoon.

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