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Sanders joins UAW picket line as GM talks progress

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The picket line and the 2020 campaign trail crossed paths Wednesday as Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders joined striking General Motors workers.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): VERMONT SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING:

"What we are saying today to General Motors is start investing in your workers, stop cutting healthcare; stop threatening pensions; pay your workers a decent wage' stop shutting down plants in America and moving abroad."

His visit comes on day 10 of a walkout by United Auto Workers that analysts say is costing General Motors about $100 million a day.

But sources told Reuters Wednesday that talks between the union that represents the 48,000 striking hourly employees and GM are making progress.

To win over the union, GM has promised to invest $7 billion in U.S. plants, issue annual raises in a new four-year deal, increase profit sharing and keep the current healthcare insurance plan.

But sources warn there's been little movement on the more thorny issues of job security and pay for newer and temporary workers.

The walkout, which is now the longest strike by autoworkers in nearly 30 years, has become a political event.

Others running for the Democratic presidential nomination have shown up at picket lines.

Former Vice President Joe Biden had this message for striking workers in Kansas City.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING:

"Look at what happened when we 'bailed out GM.' We didn't bail out GM, UAW bailed out GM."

While Senator Elizabeth Warren took her pro-union support to striking workers in Detroit.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING:

"GM is demonstrating it has no loyalty to the workers of America or the people of America."

The UAW is striking over job cuts, plant closings and GM's desire to use more temporary employees. Workers say they feel particularly betrayed in light of the givebacks union workers agreed to in order to save GM during the financial crisis.

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