Democratic Debate Drama: The Picket Line

The Story:

The Democratic National Committee has now hosted several debates among the candidates for that party’s nomination for President of the United States. There have been dramatic exchanges during the course of each. But for the debate scheduled for this week, the greatest drama has turned out to be off stage. A snafu arose from a labor dispute involving college cafeteria workers.

Background:

The debate was scheduled, long ago, for today, Thursday, December 19. Yet in recent weeks it has been unclear whether it could occur after all, because each of the seven candidates who qualified for it said they would honor a picket line.

Specifically: by staying away they would have been honoring the picket line of a union known as UNITE HERE Local 11, which is seeking a better contract for its members who are employees of Sodexo, a company that provides food services to institutions. One of Sodexo’s customers is Loyola Marymount, the Catholic college in Los Angeles, California where this debate is scheduled to take place.

The Thing to Know:

The DNC says that it would never ask a candidate to cross a picket line.

On Tuesday, December 17, though, the parties to the dispute reached at least a tentative deal on the underlying dispute. It now appears the site will go unpicketed.

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