Democratic Debate Back on After Union Strikes Deal

The Democratic debate will go on as scheduled after a union at the heart of a labor dispute that prompted every qualified candidate to threaten a boycott reached an agreement, The Hill reports.

Unite Here Local 11, a union representing 150 food service workers at Loyola Marymount University, reached an agreement with university food vendor Sodexo, which had canceled contract negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement with the workers.

All seven candidates who qualified for the debate vowed to boycott the debate, which is being held at the university on Thursday, if an agreement had not been reached.

Boycott threat helped score good deal for workers:

The union said in a statement that they reached a three-year agreement that includes a 25 percent pay raise, a 50 percent reduction in healthcare costs, and “increases the workers’ job security.”

“I am thrilled that we were able to reach an agreement, and that the candidate debate can continue as scheduled,” Angela Fisher, Loyola Marymount prep cook, said in a statement. “I want to thank the Democratic candidates who stood with us and the Democratic party that helped us win.”

DNC praises agreement:

A DNC official told The Hill that DNC Chairman Tom Perez helped push the deal over the finish line after spending days on the phone with leaders at the union, the company, and the school.

“Every worker deserves fair wages and benefits. That’s why I was proud to help bring all stakeholders to the table, including UNITE HERE Local 11, Sodexo, and Loyola Marymount University, to reach a deal that meets their needs and supports workers.” Perez said in a statement. “I commend Sodexo and UNITE HERE for coming together in good faith to forge an agreement that is a win-win for everyone, and I appreciate the constructive engagement of LMU leadership which was indispensable to the resolution of this negotiation.”


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