All 7 Qualifying Democratic Candidates May Skip DNC Debate in LA Over Union Standoff

The candidates said they would not be crossing the picket lines of a union representing food-service employees at Loyola Marymount University

Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In Debate In Atlanta, Georgia
Candidates pictured at the November debate. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden and Tom Steyer may skip next week’s Democratic debate at Loyola Marymount University, where a union representing university food-service employees have planned to picket.

Unite Here Local 11 announced on Friday that it would be picketing outside the debate, which takes place next Thursday, after contract negotiations have stalled with Sodexo, a company subcontracted by the university that employs the food-service workers.

“We had hoped that workers would have a contract with wages and affordable health insurance before the debate next week,” Susan Minato, co-president of the union, said in the statement. “Instead, workers will be picketing when the candidates come to campus.”

By Friday, all seven candidates who qualified for next Thursday’s debate said they would not cross the union’s picket line:

Thursday’s debate is hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico. It was previously scheduled to take place at the University of California, Los Angeles, when it was first announced in October. The DNC switched locations to Loyola Marymount after a separate university employee union had demanded a boycott of speaking engagements due to years-long disagreements with UCLA.

Representatives for the DNC did not immediately have a comment when reached by TheWrap.