The Democrat debate on Thursday at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles has been saved after a subcontractor and a union reached a collective bargaining agreement that was announced Thursday morning.
All seven of the qualifying candidates had said they would not cross a union picket line to participate in the final debate of 2019, after Unite Here Local 11 organized protests on campus against food services provider Sodexo.
But on Thursday, the two sides announced that they had reached an agreement and that the debate would proceed.
Unite Here Local 11 said the food services workers had reached a tentative agreement for a three-year contract with Sodexo for “a 25% increase in compensation, a 50% drop in healthcare costs, and increases [in] workers’ job security.” https://t.co/9G4InczhiO
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) December 17, 2019
The Los Angeles Times reported Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez helped mediate the dispute.
In a statement e-mailed to the press, a spokesperson from Sodexo said:
We are pleased to confirm that, after many months of continuous negotiations, we have reached a tentative agreement with UNITE HERE Local 11 on behalf of Sodexo employees at Loyola Marymount University.
Sodexo has agreements with UNITE HERE at more than 70 sites across the country, and we are very happy our positive working relationship can continue with improved benefits and wages for our employees on the campus of LMU. We have been a member of the LMU community since 1975 and are excited to continue working with our partners on campus to welcome the Democratic presidential debate.
The debate had already been moved in October from UCLA due to an ongoing labor dispute with the university.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.