Thursday’s Democratic debate seemed at risk when all the qualified candidates pledged not to cross the picket line if Loyola Marymount University employees decided to demonstrate at the event.
However, the labor dispute with food provider Sodexo has now been tentatively resolved, due in some part to the efforts of the DNC and chairman Tom Perez.
NEWS: @UNITEHERE11 announces they’ve reached an agreement with Sodexo at Loyola Marymount University. Given this news, it appears the Democratic debate planned for Thursday will proceed. (h/t @JulesJester) pic.twitter.com/OnhA3RNZjv
— Priscilla Thompson (@PriscillaWT) December 17, 2019
The DNC confirmed in a statement that an agreement had been brokered, and that a formal vote is scheduled for later Tuesday morning.
Per the New York Times, Unite Here Local 11 is connected to the powerful Culinary Workers union, and deftly used the debate as leverage to expedite contract negotiations. The union obtained solidarity promises from all the candidates, sending Perez (a former U.S. Labor secretary) and officials from both sides to the table for a weekend-long negotiation.
The debate is only at Loyola Marymount in the first place due to another labor dispute engulfing the University of California Los Angeles. There, the AFSCME union and university system are feuding over outsourcing on medical centers.