Politics

Andrew Yang's staff become latest campaign workers to unionize

Key Points
  • Staffers for Andrew Yang announced Thursday that they have joined the Campaign Workers Guild, the most recent campaign unionization effort among the 2020 Democratic candidates for president.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders,  one of the leading Democratic candidates, said in May 2019 that his campaign was the first to approve a union contract with staffers.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in June that she supported her staffers' decision to unionize. Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro and California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who both dropped their bids for president, had also recognized their campaign workers' unions.
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks during the AFL-CIOs first-ever Presidential Summit in Philadelphia.
Preston Ehrler | SOPA Images/LightRocket | Getty Images

Staffers for Andrew Yang announced Thursday that they have joined the Campaign Workers Guild, the most recent campaign unionization effort among the 2020 Democratic candidates for president.

"Today marks a victory not only for our workers, but for campaign staff across the country asking for improved labor provisions, asking for appreciation as a collective whole and asking for a chance to be recognized as more than simply an employee," Chad Comey, a Yang campaign worker said in an email announcing the move.

Yang is the latest Democratic candidate who has recognized a decision to unionize from campaign staffers.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the leading Democratic candidates, said in May 2019 that his campaign was the first to approve a union contract with staffers.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another presidential candidate, said in June that she supported her staffers' decision to unionize. Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro and California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who both dropped their bids for president, had also recognized their campaign workers' unions.

"Andrew Yang is a strong believer in the rights of employees to come together and have a voice in their workplaces," campaign chief Nick Ryan said in a statement to CNBC. "He believes that those rights are the cornerstone of an economy that puts humanity first, and that we need to rewrite the rules of the 21st century to ensure that those rules are strengthened and protected. Our campaign is excited to be able to live our values and ensure that our employee's voices are heard."

Yang, an entrepreneur, started his bid for president as a long-shot contender with no political experience. But he's since amassed a loyal base of internet-savvy supporters known as the "Yang Gang" and has received endorsements from celebrities, including actor and rapper Donald Glover.

In the latest round of campaign finance disclosures, Yang's campaign predicted that for the fourth quarter he would raise $12.5 million but he ended up reporting $16.5 million.

Much of Yang's campaign focuses on his freedom dividend policy, which promises $1,000 a month to every American over 18. The RealClearPolitics polling average currently shows Yang with about 3.5% support, putting him just behind Democratic heavyweight Mike Bloomberg who has 5.8% support.