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Sanders,Warren, and Others May Boycott Dem Debate Due to Food Service Workers’ Union Protest

The DNC had already relocated the debate once on account of a similar dispute.

As the Democrats continue their march toward the 2020 primaries, the sheer number of candidates vying for the nomination has manifested quite the headache for the DNC and the party as a whole.

This is readily apparent when it comes to the contentious qualification guidelines implemented for the public Democratic debates, with a number of low-polling candidates writhing at the idea that they would be shut out of the process.  Famously, long-shot hopefuls such as Andrew Yang have spoken out and threatened action against what they perceive as exclusionary tactics, with Yang railing specifically against the minuscule amount of speaking time that he has been granted during previous debates.

Now, an ongoing labor dispute at the site of an upcoming debate could see several of the field’s frontrunners boycotting the event as a whole.

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Unite Here Local 11 represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers and servers employed by Sodexo, which is subcontracted by the university to prepare and serve meals for students and university employees.

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Susan Minato, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, said the union has been in negotiations with Sodexo over a contract since March, but that talks broke down on Friday. Picketing began in November.

“We had hoped that workers would have a contract with wages and affordable health insurance before the debate next week,” she said in a statement. “Instead, workers will be picketing when the candidates come to campus.”

The list of possible non-participants is certainly significant.

Even the aforementioned Yang got in on the action.

Oddly enough, Loyola was the second choice for the DNC, after a similar labor dispute caused them to move the event from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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