A planned boycott of the  December 19th debate by seven Democratic presidential candidates led to Loyola Marymount University contractor Sodexo and UNITE-HERE Local 11 cafeteria workers to settle a labor dispute. The move was met with strong support from Los Angeles shoppers at Whole Foods.
“I love it! Stand with workers,” said yoga instructor Ella Brisbane, unaware of Whole Foods’ anti-union track record.
This is a strong move from the Democrats, who had previously moved the debate from UCLA due to an ongoing dispute with AFSCME union workers. This election season has seen many candidates showing up on picket lines to declare support for organized labor, to the delight of many Whole Foods shoppers.

“As a union craft services member, I support my fellow food workers,” said Len Dubuque, member of IATSE, who was shopping for fresh produce for an upcoming gig.

Dubuque gave an impassioned explanation of the benefits of unions and the importance of solidarity, despite the Riverside Drive and Coldwater Canyon Ave. Whole Foods he was at being non-union, and only blocks away from a UFCW represented Ralph’s.

“Every little bit you can do to help fellow union members will come back to you,” Dubuque said, loading up his cart with crudité platters that were harvested with non-union farm labor.

Political experts say the solidarity displayed by the Democratic candidates and thr successful outcome signals a stronger bond between organized labor and the party, a potential boon as public opinion in favor of unions reaches a 50-year high.

However, others were skeptical if Democrats would have offered the same consideration to other groups.

“Loyola Marymount is a Catholic school, and the church isn’t accepting of gay people, so would they have boycotted the debate if gay people spoke up?” asked Charles O’Dell, a self-described cis-male ally, while eating at Chik-Fil-A.

When informed that Loyola Marymount has university-sanctioned LGBT services, he shrugged.

“I guess that’s okay then,” he said, before returning to the counter to buy Chik-Fil-A gift cards to give out at his officemates for the holidays.

By Philip Moon

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