NEWS: Sanders and Baldwin Lead Letter in Support of Striking CNH Industrial Workers in Wisconsin and Iowa

WASHINGTON, June 9 – Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), along with their colleagues Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Tuesday sent a letter to CNH Industrial’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Wine expressing support for over 1,000 UAW workers currently on strike in Racine, Wisconsin and Burlington, Iowa demanding the company negotiate a fair contract in good faith.

“Let’s be clear. CNH is not a poor company,” the senators wrote. “It is not going broke. Last year, CNH made over $1.7 billion in profits. If CNH can afford to provide you with a $9.2 million signing bonus and nearly $22 million in total compensation for one year of work – nearly 8,000 times the raise you are offering some workers – it can afford to pay all of your workers better wages and better benefits. If CNH can afford to spend over $100 million on stock buybacks over a six-month period to enrich its wealthy shareholders, it can afford to treat all of its workers with the dignity and the respect that they deserve.”

The workers, who make agriculture and construction equipment, went on strike in early May for better wages, cost of living adjustments, improved health benefits, and fair and safe work rules. Regularly working 12-hour days and nearly 60-hour weeks, the workers also work up to 17 hours per week of forced overtime. The company, which made over $1.7 billion in profits last year, proposed unaffordable health benefits and an average annual raise of just $1.33 per hour for the lowest paid workers – resulting in a substantial pay cut for many after adjusting for inflation and the massive new health benefit costs.

The senators demanded Wine go back to the bargaining table, negotiate in good faith for a fair contract, and end the union busting activities immediately.

“Mr. Wine: Our request is simple and it is straightforward,” wrote the senators. “Go back to the bargaining table. Negotiate in good faith. Stop hiring replacement workers. Give back the health insurance benefits that you took away from striking workers. Offer your workers a contract that is fair and that is just.”

The CNH workers strike comes amidst a wave of worker protests across industries and states, including at least 185 strikes at 255 locations in 2021, and at least 130 strikes at 190 locations in 2022 so far.

Sanders recently called on President Biden to fulfill his campaign promise to prevent companies engaged in illegal anti-union activities from receiving federal contracts paid for by the taxpayers of the United States. Along with the CNH strike, Sanders has rallied support for workers across the country, including Kellogg’s workers in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Tennessee; bakery workers in California; Warrior Met coal miners in Alabama, steelworkers in West Virginia; UVM Medical Center residents in Vermont; and more than 30,000 Kaiser health care workers; as well as workers at John Deere, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, Teamsters Hunts Point Market, GSOCUAW graduate workers at NYU, Churchill Downs, and more.

Read the full letter here.