All of the seven candidates said on Friday that they won't attend the Dec. 19 event due to the labor dispute between workers at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and food services company Sodexo. LMU has a contract with Sodexo for its food service operations, Presstv Reported.
The cooks, dishwashers, cashiers and servers working for Sodexo, who prepare and serve meals for students and university employees at LMU, have gone on strike demanding "living wage, improvements on health care."
“Sodexo is 100% committed to reaching an agreement, and any statement that we have left the bargaining table is not accurate,” a Sodexo spokesperson said.
The candidates said they will not cross the picket line and participate in the debate unless there is a resolution between them before Thursday.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was the original venue for the Democratic debate which had been moved to LMU due to a separate labor dispute.
The Democratic candidates include former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; billionaire businessman Tom Steyer; nonprofit executive Andrew Yang and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.