Sen. Bernie Sanders visits UAW workers in Racine County as strike continues

NOW: Sen. Bernie Sanders visits UAW workers in Racine County as strike continues

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As the UAW strike against CNH Industrial prepares to enter week eight, UAW Local 180 President Yasin Mahdi says he isn't having any trouble keeping his members motivated.

"I don't need to do that much," Mahdi said Friday. "The company has motivated the people by their substandard wages and benefits."

Mahdi says negotiations fell through again earlier this week, saying the company's current offer is a 'Slap in the face' compared to what other manufacturers in the area are paying employees.

CBS 58 reached out to CNH Industrial for a statement on the current negotiations and have yet to hear back.

"I'm anticipating the company, you know, locking us out," Mahdi said. "Also anticipating the company doing other things like they did a couple weeks ago, trying to bargain with my members individually instead of bargaining with the people that represent the members."

On Friday, June 17, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) was the keynote speaker at a rally held at the UAW Local 180's union hall in Mount Pleasant. He commended the workers for their sacrifice.

"What you are doing is sending a message to working families all over this country, and that is that you are sick and tired of corporate greed and that you want to be treated with dignity and respect," Senator Sanders said. "You're not here to become billionaires, but you are here and you're fighting to be treated as human beings so you can have the time to spend with your kids and your parents. It's all you're asking for and it's not a whole lot."

Sanders took part of his time to criticize corporate America, calling the greed being shown in the United States unprecedented.

"What's going on here is not unique! It's going on all over the country, and in many ways, by the way, all over the world," Senator Sanders said. "They're not worried about workers. They're not worried about your kids. They're not worried about your parents. They're not worried about your community. All they are worried about is how much in profit that they can make. What kind of dividends and stock options they can provide to their shareholders."

Mahdi says he and his members are in this for the long haul and prepared to strike until they receive what they consider to be fair, comparable pay and better and benefits.

"The company needs to really get serious if they want an agreement," Mahdi said. "If they don't, that's fine too. We're here for the long haul."

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