Bernie Sanders Can’t Promise A $15 Minimum Wage Increase Without Cutting Hours and Jobs
Bernie Sanders announced he’s cutting his staffers’ hours so they can “effectively” be paid the $15-minimum wage he’s been promising for the rest of the country if elected president. It just comes to show how not only hypocritical he is but also his championed policy doesn’t even work for his own staff.
The Washington Post first reported last Thursday that Sanders’ field staffers were upset that Sanders championed a $15 minimum wage on the campaign trail, and made headlines for railing against major corporations who pay “starvation wages” — even as his own employees made “poverty wages.”
In response, Sanders told The Des Moines Register he was “very proud” to lead the first major presidential campaign with unionized workers, but also “bothered” that news of the internal strife had spilled into the media.
The self-described socialist candidate said junior field organizers earn roughly $36,000 per year in salary, with employer-paid health care and sick leave. But he acknowledged that their salary can effectively dip below $15 per hour if staffers work much more than 40 hours per week, which is common on presidential campaigns.
The solution 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,” he told the Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel.
Meanwhile, according to a letter from campaign staffers to Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir, workers were being “expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages.”
This latest announcement just shows how out-of-touch Sanders is with his base as well as his staff. Sanders demonized corporations for paying their employees “starvation wages” yet was called out for paying the exact same thing. To ease tensions and suppress controversy, he raised the wage — but at a price. What does Sanders think will happen to employees at companies across the country if he successfully implements a mandated $15-minimum wage? Such a mandate would hurt businesses and the employees themselves. Don’t let Sanders promise you something that he can’t even deliver to his own staff “effectively.”