Every worker deserves fair wages, a sustainable career with reasonable hours, and respect from management. The Democratic Party, in particular, is a champion of labor rights, except where its own laborers are concerned. Campaign workers routinely work more than twice the standard workweek for less than minimum wage and no healthcare benefits. We sacrifice our health, financial security, and leisure time to support candidates and movements that we hope will make our society more prosperous, equitable, and inclusive. It’s time for our employers to live up to the values they publicly espouse.
Until now, no organization has devoted itself to protecting and strengthening the rights of campaign workers – so we’re standing together and making our own.
We, as campaign staff, believe that campaigns cannot fully fight for workers’ rights while they’re exploiting their own campaign staff. Pro-labor candidates must hire unionized organizers; if they don’t, they’re not pro-labor. Working from one election cycle to the next should not mean working from paycheck to paycheck. It shouldn’t mean having to put up with unsafe housing and abusive bosses. And it should never mean staying silent about sexual harassment or racism out of fear of being blacklisted.
We aim to empower organizers, improve working conditions on campaigns, and promote healthy career longevity. Every time an organizer burns out and leaves the field, the movement is drained of valuable skills, experience, and connections. By protecting and strengthening campaign workers’ rights, we can build stronger, more successful campaigns. We also must ensure that this work is accessible to all, not just those with the privilege of being able to rely on their families for financial support or a place to crash between campaigns. Only when our work is fairly compensated, our experience properly valued, and our rights adequately protected will our mission be complete. Until then, we as organizers must organize ourselves.