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WQAD.com

Democratic debate to proceed after labor agreement reached

The seven candidates who have qualified for the debate said they will not cross picket line of Sodexo service workers at the venue.
Democratic Debate, image from MGN

(WUSA) — The Democratic National Committee has announced that the Democrats’ next primary debate will proceed as planned this Thursday. All seven of the candidates who qualified for the debate had threatened to boycott the forum over a labor dispute.

A lead debate organizer for the Democratic National Committee said Monday that Chairman Tom Perez would not cross a planned picket line of Sodexo service workers at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. But he spent the weekend urging all stakeholders to expedite negotiations so the debate can proceed as scheduled Thursday night.

A union representing workers on Loyola Marymount University’s campus threatened to continue picketing over their failure to reach a collective bargaining agreement with food service company Sodexo. DNC Chairman Tom Perez personally stepped in to help broker a deal.

The seven candidates who have qualified for the debate have said they won’t participate amid the dispute. They are former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

A local union representative says talks could resume Tuesday.

The DNC is not looking for an alternate debate site, according to The Associated Press.

Organized labor is a cornerstone of the Democratic platform and the party relies on support from labor unions.

This would be the final debate of 2019 and could come one day after the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump. If the debate is canceled, it means the candidates wouldn’t have a chance to collectively give their views on impeachment until the first debate of January, by which time a Senate trial may have already begun. That debate is scheduled for January 14 at Drake University in Iowa.

Who’s taking part in the debate?

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Billionaire Tom Steyer
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
Democratic debate to proceed after labor agreement reached