Negotiators reached a tentative deal to end a labour dispute that had threatened this week’s Democratic presidential debate, allowing the event bringing together seven top White House candidates to proceed, a service workers union said on Tuesday.
Unite Here Local 11, which represents food workers at debate host Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said it would drop plans to picket the debate after reaching a three-year agreement with Sodexo, the company that employs them.
All seven of the Democratic participants had said they would not cross the picket line and had threatened to skip Thursday’s nationally televised debate between top candidates competing for the nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in2020.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez worked with the union and Sodexo, a global services company, to help resolve the dispute, the union said. The union membership will vote later on Tuesday on ratifying the contract.
“I commend Sodexo and UNITE HERE for coming together in good faith to forge an agreement that is a win-win for everyone, “Perez said in a statement.
The union said it represents 150 cooks, dish washers, cashiers and servers at the University who work for Sodexo. The new contract includes increases in compensation and job security, and a 50% drop in healthcare costs, it said.