Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in Racine County to support workers on strike against CNH Industrial
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke outside a Racine County union hall Friday, urging support for hundreds of members of United Auto Workers Local 180 who have been on strike for about seven weeks against global farm and construction equipment manufacturer CNH Industrial.
CNH includes Case IH and many of those on strike are based at a Case IH plant on Highway 11—on Racine's south side.
The company and union have started negotiations on a new contract, but according to the UAW, they have significant disagreements over wages, health insurance, use of replacement workers during the strike, and the company's use of mandatory overtime.
Sanders, who has twice run for president as a Democrat, told the crowd of a couple hundred people that the strike is important:
"The struggle you are engaged in is the struggle of our moment, the struggle of our time. And that is whether we stand up to this outrageous level of greed and selfishness and say to these companies that the time is long overdue that: you can't have it all. You can't crush people. You can't crush families. People who have worked for you have made you huge amounts of money. You've got to treat them with respect and dignity."
Sanders said millions of people across the U.S. admire and respect what the UAW members are doing.
He also criticized CNH management and its European owners for paying CNH Industrial CEO Scott Wine a $9.2 million signing bonus and millions more in annual compensation.
CNH did not respond to WUWM's request for a comment about the Sanders visit. The company has previously said it's committed to resolving the dispute through the collective bargaining process.
Sanders was also scheduled to speak Friday in Burlington, Iowa, to striking CNH workers.