The polar opposite is Randy "Ironstache" Bryce. Not only does Bryce talk the talk, but he also walks the walk. Living up to his campaign positions, he now has the first and only unionized campaign:
Today, the staff for congressional candidate Randy Bryce announced their unionization, becoming the first campaign to sign a contract under the new Campaign Workers Guild. Bryce is challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.
“As a longtime member of the Ironworkers Local 8, I understand the importance of basic guarantees such as living wages, healthcare, and protection from sexual harassment and discrimination,” said Bryce. “I’m running for Congress in order to ensure that all hardworking people can have these protections, so it only makes sense to start with our campaign team now.”
The contract, ratified in December, includes reimbursement for health insurance premiums up to $275/ month, a one percent pay increase, a formal grievance process and a third-party reporting system for sexual harassment.
“The members of the Randy Bryce for Congress Union are proud to work for a candidate who practices what he preaches,” said Bryce Digital Director and Union Steward Nate Rifkin. “Campaigns are fast-paced, start-up like environments. There is no H.R. department, so having formal systems set up around grievances and sexual harassment are sadly rare on campaigns – but we’re proud that Randy is leading the way.”
Not only his campaign staff now unionized, Randy urged them on because he knows and believes in the value of organized labor:
Wisconsin congressional candidate Randy Bryce is a union man. He’s a proud member of Ironworkers Local 8 in southeastern Wisconsin. He has organized with workers, marched picket lines, and rallied against Republican assaults on labor rights. Bryce maintains a heart-and-soul faith that working men and women have a right to representation.↓ Story continues below ↓
Including, he says, the working men and women who staff congressional campaigns.
So when Nate Rifkin, the digital director for the Democratic challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan, brought up the idea of organizing workers on the campaign, Bryce recalls that his immediate response was: “Let’s do this.”
“If I’m talking about the importance of unions on the campaign trail, it makes sense that the people who work on the campaign should have representation,” says Bryce, who encourages other candidates to get to know about the efforts of the Campaign Workers Guild to assure that campaign staffers are treated with respect. That goes for the campaigns of Democrats and Republicans, says Bryce.
Does that mean that Paul Ryan should welcome union representation of his reelection campaign staff? “Absolutely,” says the challenger. “I would encourage him to do so.”
I can't say that this surprises me at all. I served with Randy on the Executive Board of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council and together, we organized one of the most original direct actions to support our brothers and sisters in the service industry. When Scott Walker and the Republicans were about to pass Act 10 in the middle of the night, Randy was there. When these same goons were about to pass Right to Work, Randy was there. When fast food workers protested for a living wage, Randy was there. When Michigan was working on their own anti-union laws, Randy was there.
It doesn't matter whether they were in the same union as Randy or even if they weren't union members at all, when workers were fighting for their rights, Randy would go where he was needed.
Randy also knows that a buck and a half a week isn't going to keep anyone's boat afloat, especially when they will lose hundreds of dollars at tax time. He knows that to raise all boats, it takes organized labor.
So naturally, he would be more than willing to not only allow, but help, his staff get organized. That's just who he is. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.
Although not surprised, I am doubly pleased and proud to be a friend, a fellow union member and a long time supporter of Randy's.
Please help Randy help all of us by fighting against the anti-worker agenda of Ryan, Trump and their Republican toadies and cronies. Please give whatever you can, even if it's just the $1.50 Ryan gave you in his tax cut.