Biden, Warren and Sanders express support for striking Stop & Shop workers

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Buttigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Ocasio-Cortez starts petition to repeal Hyde Amendment MORE and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' O'Rourke unveils plan to support women, minority-owned businesses MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Buttigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' The generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party MORE (I-Vt.) all showed solidarity with striking Stop & Shop workers ahead of a 2020 election cycle in which Democrats are seeking to underline their support for labor groups.

“In the last 5 years, @StopandShop's parent company has bought back billions of dollars in stock. Now they want to cut employee wages & benefits. This is wrong. I stand with the 31,000 @UFCW workers fighting for their healthcare,” Biden tweeted Friday.

“I stand with the @UFCW and @StopandShop workers on the picket line. This strike is about 31K workers across New England making their voices heard and fighting for living wages and better benefits. When workers fight, workers win,” Warren said.

Biden is expected to officially launch his presidential campaign in the coming weeks, while Warren announced her White House bid in December.

Sanders, who has long touted his support for organized labor, criticized the company for wanting to "drastically cut health care" for its 31,000 workers.

Thousands of Stop & Shop union workers went on strike Friday amid an ongoing contract dispute to protest against what they say is an expected cut to take-home pay, health care and other benefits. Five local chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers union said 31,000 of its members were involved in the strike, which took place across New England. 

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“The hard-working men and women at over 240 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are standing together to tell Stop & Shop that it is time to do the right thing. The men and women who make Stop & Shop a success have earned and deserve affordable health care, a good wage, and the ability to retire with dignity,” the union said in a statement. “They have earned and deserve a good job that allows them to do what they do best: provide the very best customer service for New England communities.”

Biden, Warren and Sanders have long cast themselves as allies of the working class. Biden is likely to angle his campaign’s appeal to his potential to win back blue-collar Trump supporters in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, while Warren has released a litany of economic policy proposals, including increasing taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations.

Sanders, for his part, won Michigan and Wisconsin in his challenge to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHouse Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally It's about the delegates, stupid MORE in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

The Democratic presidential primary contest is already fielding more than a dozen candidates, with many emphasizing their support for unions and other labor movements as they seek to appeal to the party’s progressive wing.