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Sen. John Fetterman joined UAW striking workers in Langhorne: "The pinch is real"

Sen. John Fetterman joined UAW striking workers in Bucks County
Sen. John Fetterman joined UAW striking workers in Bucks County 02:06

LANGHORNE, Pa. (CBS) -- Striking workers in Bucks County got a boost Thursday afternoon. Senator John Fetterman joined United Auto Workers on the picket line outside the General Motors facility in Langhorne.

"Most of us can't afford the vehicles that we make. So we just kind of want a piece of the pie," Tyree Pogue said. "We wanna live that American dream."

It's been 13 days since 83 workers walked out of the General Motors plant in Langhorne as part of the United Auto Workers nationwide strike against GM, Ford and Stellantis.

"That was a hard moment," Local 21-77 President Charmian Leslie-Hughes said. "It was a hard moment for me personally but it was also hard because walking out all of these people. So we were all in it together."

RELATED: Biden joins picket line with UAW workers in Michigan: "Stick with it"

Leslie-Hughes said this will be the first-week striking workers will receive strike pay. John Jayne, who's worked at the Langhorne GM plant for 11 years, knows his family is feeling the impact.

"I have three kids, and I'm the sole provider for them," Jayne said. "Even while working I feel the pinch, so going on strike, the pinch is real."

Workers CBS News Philadelphia talked with said the pinch is worth it to set themselves up for the future. They said they want the concessions they made during the 2008 recession restored, including pay raises, and an end to so-called tiered wages that pay workers different rates for the same job.

CBS News Philadelphia

"There are people doing my same job that are making $30 and then there are some like me who are making $18 an hour," Leslie-Hughes said.

"I don't want to be on strike but I know we have to fight for what we've earned," Jayne said.

The workers said they've seen support from other unions during the strike and despite the hardship of a strike, they're in this till the end.

RELATED: UAW widens strike against GM and Stellantis, but spares Ford

"It would appear that Mary Barry and the big three want to get into a street fight with street people, and I just think that's a very dumb thing to do if you're from Wall Street," Daniel Vicente, the UAW regional president, said.

"I love my job," Leslie-Hughes said. "I just want to be paid the way I should be for it."

In a statement, General Motors says it has provided a counteroffer to the UAW's latest proposal calling it "compelling." They said they stand ready to negotiate 24/7 to reach an agreement.

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