Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute

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All seven Democratic candidates who qualified for next week’s presidential debate in Las Vegas are threatening to skip it over a labor dispute at the university hosting the event.

The candidates said Friday that they won’t attend the Dec. 19 event due to a dispute between workers at Loyola Marymount University and food services company Sodexo.

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Krystal Ball rips Warren’s ‘passive-aggressive’ swipes at rivals MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead MORE (I-Vt.), the 2020 field’s progressive heavyweights, were among the first to say they would boycott the event.

They were soon joined by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Booker says he will not make December debate stage Yang: 2020 rivals in Senate should be able to campaign amid impeachment MORE (D-Minn.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Krystal Ball rips Warren’s ‘passive-aggressive’ swipes at rivals Buttigieg: I share a lot of the same values as people protesting my fundraisers MORE (D), and businessmen Andrew YangAndrew YangAmerica’s real ‘freedom dividend’: Hard work and pro-business policies The Hill’s Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Booker says he will not make December debate stage MORE and Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerKrystal Ball: Influx of billionaire cash in 2020 contest is ‘deeply corrosive’ to ‘civil society’ Booker says he will not make December debate stage Democrats set early state primary debates for 2020 MORE.

“The [Democratic National Committee] should find a solution that lives up to our party’s commitment to fight for working people,” Warren tweeted.

The debate had been moved to Loyola Marymount from the University of California, Los Angeles, due to a separate labor dispute.

The union representing the workers, Unite Here Local 11, had said in a statement earlier Friday that “the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination will be greeted with picket lines at their replacement venue.”

A DNC spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that it had learned of the issue Friday and was working to find a solution.

“While LMU is not a party to the negotiations between Sodexo and Unite Here Local 11, Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s ‘wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE would absolutely not cross a picket line and would never expect our candidates to either,” spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa told The Times, referring to the committee chairman.

“We are working with all stakeholders to find an acceptable resolution that meets their needs and is consistent with our values and will enable us to proceed as scheduled with next week’s debate,” she added.

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