2020 candidate Mike Bloomberg has cut ties with the company that used prison labor to make calls for his campaign.
A spokesperson Bloomberg says the campaign didn’t know about the calls and never would have allowed it if they had.
Per NYMag, in the scramble to make up for his late entry into the Democratic primary by spending gobs of its candidate’s own money, the Bloomberg campaign engaged in some suspect labor practices, according to an investigation by the Intercept. The campaign hired a call-center company, ProCom, to do phone outreach for the billionaire, and used incarcerated people in at least one prison in Oklahoma to reach out to California voters on behalf of the New York billionaire.
According to an anonymous source that spoke with the Intercept, “People incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison with a capacity of more than 900, were making calls to California on behalf of Bloomberg. The people were required to end their calls by disclosing that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign. They did not disclose, however, that they were calling from behind bars.”
“We didn’t know about this, and we never would have allowed it if we had,” said Bloomberg campaign spokesperson Julie Wood. “We don’t believe in this practice, and we’ve now ended our relationship with the subcontractor in question.” The campaign states that its contract with ProCom was terminated on Monday, the day before the Intercept published its report. Though the Department of Correction monthly maximum for incarcerated workers tops out at $27.09, a ProCom co-founder claimed, “Some of them are making that much every day.”