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Sanders, Buttigieg make labor pitch at Las Vegas union convention

Democratic presidential hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders addressed the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades’ annual convention in Las Vegas by video on Tuesday, with each sharing a different view on labor, health care and the future of the country to varied responses from union delegates.

Here’s four takeaways from what they said:


Audience: Polite applause at the start and finish of his remarks.

Money line: “I think you and I both know that a lot of labor members held their nose and voted for this president out of an attempt to get anything that represented change — even if it meant burning the house down. I don’t think a person like Donald Trump ever gets anywhere near the Oval Office unless there’s already a crisis going on in this country.”

Minimum wage: Skilled-workers unions don’t consider it a priority, but all workers “benefit from the floor being lifted.”

New metric: Not just gross domestic product, but life-expectancy and wage growth for workers in the bottom 90 percent of the economy.


Audience: Enthusiastic applause throughout, and a standing ovation at the end.

Money line: Sanders promised to “be the most pro-union president since Franklin Roosevelt.”

Losing the audience: Medicare for All, since the union has bargained hard for good health-care benefits in contracts.

Winning it back: The Workplace Democracy Act, a bill Sanders has been bringing unsuccessfully since 1992, which would penalize employers for failing to bargain in good faith and end right-to-work laws, which exist in 28 states, including Nevada.

UP NEXT: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is scheduled to speak in person at the convention on Wednesday morning. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., plans to appear remotely on Wednesday afternoon, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will do the same Thursday.

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

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