“I am a union man ― period.”
-Joe Biden, in the opening speech of his 2020 bid at a Teamsters union hall in Pittsburgh.
While Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are joining the growing number of picket lines across our inequality-scarred country, Joe Biden is scheduled to cross one tomorrow, in order to solicit campaign contributions from the bosses of California’s largest HMO, Kaiser Permanente, and its massive hospital chain subsidiary, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc.
Dave Jamieson at the Huffington Post has the exclusive (since picked up in The Hill):
The National Union of Healthcare Workers plans to hold an informational picket line outside a Biden fundraiser slated for Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to Sal Rosselli, the union’s president. The fundraiser is to be held at the home of a director of the Kaiser Foundation, which operates hospitals as a subsidiary of Kaiser Permanente.
NUHW is locked in a bitter, yearslong fight with Kaiser over mental health staffing levels in the health care provider’s California facilities. Therapists waged a statewide five-day strike in December, and a one-day work stoppage in Pasadena last month.
Rosselli told HuffPost his union first reached out to Biden last week about the fundraiser to be hosted by Dr. Cynthia Telles, a UCLA School of Medicine faculty member who sits on Kaiser’s board. According to an invitation, contribution levels for the event range from $250 per person to $2,800, which is the maximum contribution for the presidential primary allowed under election law.
Rosselli said the union has not heard back from the campaign.
“He should take our side in this dispute,” Rosselli said. “I think he should walk. He should cancel it.”
(Emphasis mine). Listen, if you think there is even the slightest chance of Biden cancelling this fundraiser, then you and I clearly have a different view of how major party, establishment politics in this country have always worked, and I’ve got some prime Florida swampland to sell to you.
But he (Roselli) is every bit within his rights to ask. Meanwhile, this is who I am supporting, because he actually walks the picket walk, not just talk the “union man” talk:
If you can, please chip in a few bucks; without powerful Health Insurance Lobbyists like the director of the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Bernie needs as many small dollar donations as we the people are able to afford. That’s how he has been able to mount what political scientists consider to be an unprecedented grassroots campaign in the entirety of US history.