Unionized staffers of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden have reached a new milestone: the first time a major party’s apparent presidential nominee will employ unionized workers under a collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was announced in a joint statement between the Biden campaign and Teamsters Local 238. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren paved the way when their primary campaign staffs organized.
Election season turns hosts of union organizers and volunteers into political canvassers, almost exclusively for Democratic contenders at local, state and national levels. A great deal of the energy has formerly been invested in face-to-face conversations, but in the age of social distancing, this should shift dramatically. Even phone bank operations may have to adapt. Digital media and paid advertising might see an uptick, with more reliance on texting and other social media campaigns.
The experiments carried out during the political season are likely to spill over into union organizing when the dust settles, if the unionistas can see through their biases to determine what worked and what didn’t.