LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Call it a tale of going back and forth because the Culinary Union is responding to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ statement about the union’s claims Sanders wants to “end culinary healthcare.”
Are you confused yet? Here’s how it all breaks down:
Tuesday night, right after Sen. Sanders, (D-VT), won the New Hampshire primary, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 put a flyer out to its members, laying out where each candidate stands on issues relevant to the union.
The flyer pointed out how Sanders would “end culinary healthcare,” and require “medicare for all” and lower drug prices.
On Wednesday morning, Bernie Sanders’ campaign issued the following statement in response to the Culinary Union’s flyer:
“Bernie has stood with workers his entire career, fighting on picket lines against pension cuts and corporate greed. Medicare for All will be no different; the program is crafted with the working class and particularly union members in mind,” said Sarah Michelsen, Bernie 2020 Nevada State Director. “Bernie has been clear that under Medicare for All, we will guarantee that coverage is as comprehensive or more so than the health care benefits union workers currently receive, and union health clinics, including the Culinary’s health clinic, will remain open to serve their members. With health care as a human right, unions will have more leverage to negotiate better wages and benefits.”
Later Wednesday afternoon, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 had a rebuttal to the Sanders campaign response:
“The Culinary Union is Nevada’s union and largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. Our union is comprised of majority women, and we are proud to have changed the lives of over 800,000 hospitality workers in 85 years through rank-and-file organizing and mass actions. Culinary Union members are empowered to engage in democracy – whether at the bargaining table while canvassing in neighborhoods, or on the streets in the desert heat – we fight for workers across Nevada, union and non-union alike.
We have welcomed Senator Bernie Sanders into our union for a town hall with Culinary Union members, and we hosted tours of the Culinary Health Center and the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas with Senator Sanders, to show what we have fought for and won. Our union believes that everyone has the right to good healthcare and that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege.
We have already enacted a vision for what working people need – and it exists now. Workers should have the right to choose to keep the healthcare Culinary Union members have built, sacrificed for, and went on strike for 6 years, 4 months, and 10 days to protect. It’s disappointing that Senator Sanders’ supporters have viciously attacked the Culinary Union and working families in Nevada simply because our union has provided facts on what certain healthcare proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over 8 decades. We have always stood up for what we believe in and will continue to do so.
The Culinary Union has faced some of the toughest companies who wanted to break our union, and even the President of the United States Donald Trump – and won. Together, we will figure out the best way to fix healthcare in America, and the Culinary Union is committed to fighting until we win for everyone.”
Nevada’s Democratic caucus will be held on February 22.