When former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg entered the crowded field for president last November, he promised staff employment through the November election whether he made it to the general or not.
With an army of more than 2,000 staff paid at double what others were making on rival campaigns, Bloomberg ran a massive operation with nearly unlimited resources having spent more than half a billion on the effort.
This week however, many Bloomberg campaign employees in non-battleground states learned their “guaranteed” employment was a shallow promise. On Monday, less than a week after Bloomberg made his exit from the race and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, hundreds of employees were told they would be losing their jobs and that they would be receiving their last paycheck at the end of March.
“We sincerely appreciate your commitment and dedication over the past few months!” read an email to employees reviewed by the New York Times. “As a token of our appreciation, we are offering you the opportunity to keep your laptop and iPhone.” Some prize for unexpected unemployment just as the stock market begins to see its worst days since the 2008 financial crisis.
The Times notes that the email sent to laid-off employees that they would still need to pay taxes on their new devices with their specified values ranging between $1,400 to $1,700.
Staff were asked if they were open to re-locating to any of the six swing states being targeted this cycle, including Arizona, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, or if they wanted a referral to another campaign.
A spokesperson for the campaign said it was always the campaign’s plan to keep staff if those six states that will decide the election in an effort to promote the eventual Democratic nominee.
“As we’ve said over the course of the campaign, this election will come down to six battleground states,” the Bloomberg campaign said in a statement. “It’s imperative that we invest there with staff and infrastructure. Staff who were working in non-battleground states and would like to learn about future opportunities in the battleground states are being asked to let us know so we can consider them for jobs there.”
Bloomberg, who boasts a Forbes’ estimated net-worth of $50.2 billion spent more than $550 million on his campaign running on a late-entrance strategy to skip the first four primary and caucus states and focus on the nationwide contests on Super Tuesday. After failing to pick up a single state however, placing first only in the American Samoa Democratic caucus, Bloomberg dropped out of the race and announced his support for Biden.