PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Auto workers took to the picket line on Tuesday outside the General Motors plant in Langhorne, during the 12th day of the United Auto Workers strike. They were joined by a United States Senator.
There wasn’t a whole lot of chanting going on. Instead striking UAW Local 2177 members held signs that read “UAW on Strike,” while some stood around a campfire to keep warm in the light rain.
Dave Greenhalgh, the union’s benefits plan representative, says the local represents the warehouse workers at the plant, who want fair pay.
“Right now, they have two tiers in the plant where certain people who are new hires make $17 and they are capped at $25,” he explained. “It would take them eight years to get to the $25 and that would be capped, as opposed to the people that were hired before 2007. They make $32 an hour.”
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey made an appearance to show his support for the striking workers.
“When you consider what the CEOs of the three automakers (General Motors, Ford, Stellantis) have been making and the corporate profits on top of that, that they have garnered over the last couple of years, all these workers are asking for is basic fairness,” Casey said.
Casey wasn’t the only politician to join UAW picketers. President Joe Biden donned a union cap and joined striking workers on Tuesday at a General Motors plant in Michigan. He’s repeatedly argued that auto companies have not gone far enough to meet union demands, especially after making concessions in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Asked if UAW members deserved a 40% raise, one of their demands over the course of negotiations, Biden said, “Yes. I think they should be able to bargain for that.”
The last time the UAW went on strike was in 2019, against General Motors. That work stoppage lasted 40 days.