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Elizabeth Warren joins picket line outside GM plant in Detroit

Elizabeth Warren stands next to union workers on strike
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren offers remarks in front of GM Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant

Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren met with the United Auto Workers union members who are on strike at General Motors in Detroit.

Senator Warren, who walked in solidarity with hundreds of UAW workers outside the GM Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant on Sunday, says the country needs a Department of Labor that stands by union workers.

“Everybody deserves a living wage in this country,” Warren said.

The UAW membershave been on strike since September 15. The workers are fighting for better health coverage for temporary employees at GM and for contracts that will guarantee plant jobs stay in the U.S.

Union workers walking with signs
Credit Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Union workers walking in front of the GM Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant with picket signs

Warren says unions have been, and still are, important to the American economy.

“Unions built America's middle class and unions will rebuild America's middle class,” she said.

The company could lose up to $50 million each day the strike continues.

Warren says she will fight for union workers even after the strike ends. She says it’s important for whomever sits in the White House to be on the same side as the people fighting for workers’ rights.

Simon Dandu, a GM plant worker for the past 19 years, says he’s happy to see the union workers getting so much support from the community.

“It’s easy to stay encouraged when you’ve got cars going by and honking in support. And then there’s folks dropping off food and water for us,” Dandu said.

Dandu is full time at the plant, but thinks the temporary employees also deserve benefits and health coverage.

Union workers marching
Credit Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Union members and allies marching outside of the GM assembly plant

“This company is all about us being a team when things are going bad, but then they make a bunch of money and don’t want to share it with everyone who helped them get it,” he said.

Dandu is unsure how long the strike will go on, but he says everyone is prepared to fight the fight as long as they must.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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