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Julián Castro Pledges to Pay All Campaign Workers $15 or More an Hour and Let Them Unionize

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Julian Castro announces his run for president at a recent rally on the West Side of San Antonio. - SANFORD NOWLIN
  • Sanford Nowlin
  • Julian Castro announces his run for president at a recent rally on the West Side of San Antonio.
When it comes to paying folks what they're worth, Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro appears to be putting his money where his mouth is.

The former SA mayor, who's made economic justice a key pillar of his presidential run, is paying all campaign workers, even interns, $15 or more an hour, according to a press statement. Campaign officials also said they'll support a union should staff decide to organize.

According to a McClatchy report, Castro is the only Democratic presidential contender to – so far – make both of those commitments.

Political campaigns (and businesses) often make use of interns as free labor, running them ragged as they hang on in the hopes of gaining experience, contacts or another line to bolster their resumes.

And, believe it or not, unions in political campaigns are a thing now. Since the Campaign Workers Guild launched in 2018, roughly two dozen political campaigns have ratified collective bargaining agreements.

“It signals not just to the rest of the campaign world but to voters that [Castro’s] commitment here is to moving these issues forward and that’s inclusive of the feminist issues of sexual harassment policies but also of workplace rights,” Maya Rupert, Castro’s campaign manager, told the Daily Beast.

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