Warren Buffett says that Bernie Sanders won't intervene in a strike at Berkshire-owned company

Warren Buffett says that Bernie Sanders won't intervene in a strike at Berkshire-owned company

January 6, 2022: -Warren Buffett will not intervene in a steelworker’s strike at a company owned by his firm Berkshire Hathaway, he told Sen. Bernie Sanders this week.

On Thursday, Sanders wrote to Buffett and asked the Berkshire CEO to get involved in talks amid United Steelworkers Local 40 and West Virginia-based Special Metals. Precision Castparts, a subsidiary of Buffett’s conglomerate, owns Special Metals.

On Thursday, in a letter dated Tuesday and released by Sanders’ office, Buffett told the Vermont independent he would not step into the labor negotiations. He is citing Berkshire’s policy of letting its companies “deal individually with their labor and personnel decisions.”

“I’m passing along your letter to the CEO of Precision Castparts but making no recommendation to him as to any action,” Buffett wr

ites. Health care is among the huge issues in the contract talks. About 450 Special Metals workers in Huntington, W.V. walked out on October 1. As the union tries to avoid paying more for a higher deductible insurance plan, United Steelworkers Local 40 President Chad Thompson said on Thursday.

Thompson said Sanders’ office reached out to help the striking workers. He spoke to the senator by phone. He adds that he appreciates Sanders offering support and hopes the increased attention will help speak about advance.

Thompson is disappointed not to reach a deal by Christmas. He said negotiations would restart next week, over three months into the strike.

“We’re doing whatever we can to try to help us get back to work,” he said, thanking the Huntington community and unions for their support in the strike.

In his letter to Buffett, Sanders asks him to “intervene” in the talks to “make sure that the workers are treated with dignity and respect and gets a fair contract that rewards the hard work and sacrifices they made.”

“At a time when this company and Berkshire Hathaway are both doing very well, there is no reason behind workers employed by you should be worrying regarding whether they will be able to make food for their children or have health care,” the senator wrote. “There is literally no reason why the standard of living of these hard-working Americans should decline. I know that you and Berkshire Hathaway can do more good than that.”

Sanders, a labor advocate, has put his weight behind multiple strikes and union drives in the last years. He recently rallied with striking Kellogg’s workers in Michigan this month.

Buffett, one of the ten wealthiest people in the U.S., has not been as frequent a target of Sanders’ ire as his peers, which include Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

In his letter to Buffett, Sanders noting that the Berkshire CEO has “spoken out eloquently on the crisis our country faces in terms of growing income and wealth inequality.”

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