CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — After personally writing a letter to investor Warren Buffett on behalf of 450 union steelworkers on strike at Special Metals in Huntington, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) brought more awareness to their cause Wednesday, holding a virtual town hall for them.
The town hall included a cake worker from California, a coal miner from Alabama, and United Steelworkers local 40 union president, Chad Thompson.
“They all have something very much in common; they are all union members and they are all on strike — today — against outrageous levels of corporate greed,” said Sanders during the live stream on his platform live.berniesanders.com.
Special Metals is owned by Warren Buffet, whose company Berkshire Hathaway is a primary stockholder of Special Metals’ parent company.
“One of the wealthiest people in the world, Warren Buffet, who is worth 110 billion dollars, and who became — and this is interesting — 40 billion dollars wealthier during the pandemic,” said Sanders.
Senator Sanders says CEOs like Buffett managed to improve their wealth during the pandemic – – while many in the middle class struggled.
He says the good news is, workers across the country are fighting back.
“They have fought back at the John Deere company, they have fought back at Nabisco, they fought back at Frito Lay they fought back at Kaiser Permanente on the West Coast.”
They are also fighting back here in Huntington, where Thompson says they keep getting the runaround every time they go into negotiations.
“We were told today at the table that we were overpaid, that we had too good a healthcare, and that’s absolutely not the case,” said Thompson.
The steelworkers, who have been on strike since October 1st, say they have been relying heavily on local businesses, the community, and other unions to get by during this difficult time as they continue negotiations with their employer.