Staffers on Julián Castro’s presidential campaign have unionized after unanimously signing onto the Campaign Workers Guild (CWG). Castro has recognized the union per a neutrality agreement reached with CWG.
“Secretary Castro takes a backseat to no one when it comes to supporting his staff,” said Deputy National Press Secretary Sawyer Hackett, a union member. “He was the first candidate to pledge to pay interns $15/hour, the first to put together a staff manual with a strong sexual harassment policy, and he was the first to support his staff forming a union to ensure the employees of his campaign are not left behind in advancing his vision for the future of our nation. I’m proud to announce that our campaign has availed ourself of that support and formed a recognized union with the Campaign Workers Guild.”
The contract for the small staff of under 35 people has not been finalized. But Castro has been consistent in his support for the move, sending an email to staff in mid-April, saying in part: “If a majority of our employees say that they want to be a part of CWG, we will respect and honor that decision.”
In March, workers for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign decided to unionize, choosing the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 to represent them as their bargaining representative. This week, they ratified a union contract in conjunction with a set of guidelines on harassment and equity on the campaign. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) also said his campaign staff had unionized and, more recently, a spokesperson for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said he would support a union if workers decided to form one.
“Unions are essential protections for workers, including campaign workers, and the teams of people who work to elect our leaders should do so with the protections of union organizing,” Castro campaign manager Maya Rupert said. “Our campaign is extremely proud to be the first presidential campaign to take this step with the Campaign Workers Guild, and we look forward to bargaining in good faith.”