Union's tentative agreement means Democratic debate to proceed as scheduled
Democratic candidates, including Joe Biden, threatened to boycott
Thursday's Democratic debate will happen as scheduled after a labor dispute involving Sodexo workers at Loyola Marymount University was resolved Monday night.
Democratic presidential candidates including frontrunner Joe Biden threatened to boycott the debate by refusing to cross workers' picket lines.
Unite Here Local 11 announced the tentative contract agreement, which includes a 25 percent increase in compensation and a 50 percent drop in health care costs. Unite Here represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers and servers employed by Sodexo, which is subcontracted by the California university to prepare and serve meals for students and university employees.
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The Democratic National Committee and its chair, Tom Perez, helped resolve the situation, Unite Here said.
“We are pleased to confirm that, after many months of continuous negotiations, we have reached a tentative agreement with Unite Here Local 11 on behalf of Sodexo employees at Loyola Marymount University," Sodexo said in a statement on Tuesday. “Sodexo has agreements with Unite Here at more than 70 sites across the country, and we are very happy our positive working relationship can continue with improved benefits and wages for our employees on the campus of LMU. We have been a member of the LMU community since 1975 and are excited to continue working with our partners on campus to welcome the Democratic presidential debate.”
Negotiators came to an agreement earlier than expected. Local union leaders had said they planned to continue negotiations "Tuesday or sooner."
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The Democratic National Committee already moved the sixth debate to Loyola Marymount because of another union dispute at the original venue, the University of California, Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee, which is in charge of the debates, is facing criticism from members of its own party after Sen. Cory Booker failed to qualify. Booker said the current debate stage is not diverse.
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FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.