Senator Bernie Sanders (I), a 2020 Presidential candidate, has been a vocal supporter of raising the minimum wage to $15, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is by implementing the wage with his staffers.
However, the Democratic Socialist is facing criticism after announcing that he’ll have to cut hours in order to pay his staffers the $15 minimum wage. Many are using the announcement as evidence that the presidential hopeful’s plan to raise the national minimum wage would only kill jobs and create unemployment.
Last week, the Washington Post ran an article detailing that Sanders’ field staffers were upset that Sanders supports the $15 minimum wage measure, but his own employees make “poverty wages.”
In response, Sanders spoke to the Des Moines Register and informed that he was “very proud to be the first presidential candidate to recognize a union and negotiate a union contract.”
Moreover, Sanders explained that “that contract was ratified by the employees of the campaign, and it not only provides pay of at least $15 an hour, it also provides, I think, the best health care benefits that any employer can provide for our field organizers.”
Sanders also pointed out that he was frustrated at the fact that staffers decided to air their complaints with the media, saying that “it does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media. That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it’s improper.”
What Sanders’ solution provides is to “limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they’re making the equivalent of $15 an hour.”
Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw was among many who criticized the Vermont Senator, questioning if this falls “under the category of hypocrisy, irony, or poetic justice? All three? Can’t make this stuff up.”