Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joined about 100 Iowa-area workers on a picket line outside on Friday night, putting action behind the pro-working class talking points he delivers on the campaign trail.
The Democratic presidential candidate joined workers from a Penford Products corn processing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa who were picketing as their union representatives negotiated a contract with management, according to the Des Moines Register.
Sanders, an Independent in the Senate and a self-described Democratic socialist, addressed the crowd of laborers after walking in the “informational picket”, condemning “corporate greed” and the “war against working families,” the Washington Post reports.
Sanders detailed the plight of Penford workers who have worked without a contract since theirs expired on Aug. 1. Sanders argued the CEO of the firm that took over the plant last year takes home a healthy paycheck while the “company has been pushing workers to settle for lower wages, longer hours, cuts in overtime pay, fewer holidays and vacation days.”
“Everybody knows that’s greed and everybody knows that greed is destroying the United States of America,” Sanders said.
He added, “this is going on all across the country, working people working longer hours for lower wages.” Sanders is on a three day tour of the Hawkeye State; following Friday’s picket line appearance Sanders attended a rally at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.
Workers told the Washington Post Sanders’ presence was proof he doesn’t just talk the talk on labor issues. Secretary of State and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton leads in Iowa—a recent Loras College poll has Clinton leading by a two-to-one margin.
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