DETROIT - As the auto workers strike waded into week three territory with little updates on progress, state and federal officials are joining the blue-collar act of civil disobedience.
On Sunday, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson joined picketers on the lines, along with several clergy members as part of Solidarity Sunday. On the same day, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, both senators running for president in 2020 spoke at a separate event put on by the United Food and Commercial Workers.
"We want to see our companies be prosperous but in a way where our workers get a big chunk of that prosperity as well," said Warren.
"There's this old saying in politics 'if you're not at the table, you're on the menu,'" said Klobuchar.
Since the strike's announcement, most headlines that have breached the national mediascape have come when presidential candidates joined the fray. On Sept. 22, former Vice President Joe Biden and Warren marched with picketers. Senator Bernie Sanders joined the strikers a few days later.
It's now the 15th day and the second-longest strike in GM-UAW history. The issues on the table are health care, job security, and wages. To help buoy UAW strikers, picketers receive a $250 stipend in substitute pay from the union.
"It's already in the bank, it's all taken care of. We're just waiting for better days and get the resolution of this," said Peter Harris, a striking UAW worker.
However, the number one issue at the bargaining table is the status of temporary workers. Many part-time employees could be working on the line for years without becoming a permanent employee.
"I'm like fighting for somebody else. It's not a lot in this for me," said Leon Harvey, another striking UAW employee. "It's going kind of slow, but I have faith in the leadership - both GM and the UAW."
As manufacturing has stopped across some 30 plants under GM leadership, the autoworker has lost hundreds of millions in revenue. Workers and suppliers have seen similar deficits, with a reported hundreds of millions lost as well.