Nevada Culinary Union Says Sanders & Warren Would End Their Healthcare

Henrietta Strickland
February 15, 2020

The next contests in the state-by-state battle to pick a candidate to face Republican President Donald Trump in November's election are in Nevada on February 22 and SC on February 29.

The union boasts the state's largest massive grassroots organizing force, with 350 workers phone banking and canvassing in the 2018 midterms. It's offered softer criticism of Massachusetts Sen.

Recently, a leaflet was circulated to Culinary members attacking single-payer health care.

Still, she appeared eager to de-escalate tensions with Sanders' camp.

The flier depicts where the leading 2020 Democratic candidates stand on health care, immigration and "Good Jobs", and singles out Sanders.

The casino workers' Culinary Union, a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who work in Las Vegas' casinos, controls arguably one of the most important voting blocs in Nevada and is expected to play a crucial role in the state's contest later this month. Next to Warren's name, it lists "Medicare For All" and "replace Culinary Healthcare after 3-year transition or at end of collective bargaining agreements".

The flier, however, says that Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and businessman Tom Steyer all have policies that would protect the union's healthcare interests.

That second flyer, which asks members to rank their first, second and third choices among the candidates, draws two additional distinctions.

The union is concerned with the potential loss of the health care benefits it has negotiated with employers under the rollout of a government-run health care program that would abolish private insurance.

The Culinary Workers Union said supporters of Sanders, a front-runner in the Democratic White House race, "viciously" attacked the organization via Twitter, text, voicemail and direct messaging after the union criticized the senator's universal healthcare plan on Tuesday.

In a surprise move, Nevada's powerful Culinary Union Local 226 decided on Thursday to not endorse a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary - saying instead that it was focusing on raising awareness of issues that concern its members.

Sanders, a progressive who bills himself as a champion of organized labor, did not acknowledge his own supporters' alleged abusive behavior specifically and applied his call for an end to harassment to all campaigns' backers, but said members of his movement must be "respectful".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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