Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor, multibillionaire, and hardcore advocate for the expansion of Stop-and-Frisk—the racist and discriminatory policing policy that targeted Black and Latinx people, has admitted that his 2020 presidential campaign exploited prison labor to make phone calls on the campaign’s behalf.
The Intercept‘s John Washington broke the story, reporting last week that Bloomberg’s campaign contracted with New Jersey-based call center company ProCom. Two of the company’s call centers in Oklahoma are operated out of state prisons, with incarcerated people in at least one of the prisons contracted to make calls for the Bloomberg campaign.
Exploited workers incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison with a capacity of more than 900, disclosed that they were making calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign, but not that the calls were coming from prisons, nor that they were incarcerated.
According to ProCom co-founder John Scallan, his company pays the Oklahoma Department of Corrections the Oklahoma minimum wage of $7.25 hourly. The DoC then pays incarcerated workers, who earn up to $27.09 a month. Scallan insists that some of the workers “are making that much every day.”
“We didn’t know about this and we never would have allowed it if we had,” said Bloomberg spokesperson Julie Wood. “We don’t believe in this practice and we’ve now ended our relationship with the subcontractor in question.”
Read the full report at The Intercept.