At a rally in downtown Detroit on Friday, simply a few hundred yards from the headquarters of General Motors, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont addressed a cheering crowd of United Auto Workers members, capping a day of walkouts by the union with an effort to rally assist for the strike.
Mr. Sanders echoed the populist speaking factors of his campaigns for president in 2016 and 2020, talking about revenue inequality within the United States, and he criticized the chief executives of the Big Three automakers — G.M., Stellantis and Ford Motor — for his or her compensation.
“The fight you are waging here is not just about decent wages and working conditions and pensions in the auto industry,” Mr. Sanders stated. “It’s a fight to take on corporate greed and tell the people on top the country belongs to all of us, not just the few.”
The rally passed off alongside Detroit’s riverfront, close to the town’s iconic Renaissance Center towers, dwelling to G.M. headquarters. Also close by is the Huntington Place conference heart, the place auto executives had been gathering for a black-tie charity ball to kick off the 2023 Detroit auto present.
Several hundred U.A.W. members, most of them clad in labor’s pink shirts and waving picket indicators, crowded in entrance of the rally’s small stage. A dozen tv cameras had been jammed collectively on one other small, raised platform to document the occasion. As the group awaited the primary audio system, a sound system blared upbeat anthems like Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family“ and “We’re Not Going to Take It” by Twisted Sister.
Throughout Mr. Sanders’s speech, they erupted into chants of “Bernie, Bernie!”
Mr. Sanders spoke in regards to the rising hole between C.E.O. and employee pay. The U.A.W. has stated that one of many driving forces behind its calls for for increased pay is the expansion in compensation for the highest leaders on the Big Three automakers.
Addressing the Big Three leaders, Mr. Sanders stated, “Understand, C.E.O.s, the sacrifices your workers have made over the years.”
In a remark directed at Mary T. Barra, G.M.’s chief government, Mr. Sanders stated, “Do you understand what it’s like to live on $17 an hour?” Mr. Sanders went on to make pointed remarks in regards to the progress in compensation for Ms. Barra, in addition to Carlos Tavares and Jim Farley, her counterparts at Stellantis and Ford.
Mr. Sanders additionally lamented the hole in pay between newer and extra veteran staff on the automakers. “Time is long overdue to end the two-tiered system,” he stated.
Among Mr. Sanders’s speaking factors was the nation’s decline in well-paying union jobs. Mr. Sanders has lengthy railed towards the forces which have moved many manufacturing and automotive jobs abroad, together with globalization and free commerce agreements.
He closed his speech by saying, “Let us all stand with the U.A.W.”
Source web site: www.nytimes.com