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HomeBusinessBiden says car workers deserve 'fair share' during UAW strike.

Biden says car workers deserve ‘fair share’ during UAW strike.

  1. President Biden Supports Striking Auto Workers in Pay Dispute
  2. Three Major Automakers Face First Simultaneous Strike in Union History
  3. Labor Dispute Over Pay Raises and Demands Threatens Auto Industry

US President Joe Biden has sided with striking employees in a pay dispute with three of the nation’s largest automakers.

On Friday, nearly 13,000 employees at three facilities owned by General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis walked off the job.

Companies and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union are at odds over the terms of new labor agreements.

Mr. Biden stated on Friday that “no one” desired industrial action, but he understood the exasperation of workers.

“Workers deserve a fair share,” he declared. “The companies have made substantial offers, but I believe more should be done to ensure that record corporate profits translate into record contracts.”

Thursday’s expiration of existing labor contracts precipitated the strike. The strike is the first in union history to target all three companies simultaneously, albeit in a limited capacity.

Biden says car workers deserve 'fair share' during uaw strike.
Biden says car workers deserve 'fair share' during uaw strike.

The UAW, which represents more than 140,000 employees at the companies, has also warned that, depending on how negotiations progress, it may expand the strike.

In addition to other demands, the union is pursuing a 40% pay increase over the four-year duration of the contract, which is significantly higher than the roughly 20% that the companies have currently proposed.

The union has justified its demands by citing the compensation packages that company executives received over $20 million last year.

Depending on seniority, full-time employees at their facilities currently receive hourly wages of up to approximately $32 plus bonuses and other benefits. Temporary employees earn less, a category the union seeks to diminish.

The dispute threatens to result in higher automobile prices and significant disruption for the automotive titans.

The corporations argue that union demands are too burdensome at a time when they are investing billions to transfer production to electric vehicles.

As “a result of the strike,” Ford announced on Friday that it had laid off 600 employees at a Michigan assembly plant.

The contest is a test for Mr. Biden, who has struggled to persuade voters of his economic leadership during a period of persistent inflation.

The Democratic president stated that he would dispatch senior advisors, including Labour Secretary Julie Su, to Detroit, Michigan to assist with the negotiations.

Biden says car workers deserve 'fair share' during uaw strike.
Biden says car workers deserve 'fair share' during uaw strike.

Mr. Biden has portrayed himself as the most pro-union president in American history, and he is relying on the support of organized labor for his re-election campaign in 2020.

Last year, he signed a measure to prevent a US rail worker strike, straining relations.

In May, the UAW announced that it would not support his re-election bid, citing concerns that government subsidies for firms working on electric vehicles had not been accompanied by worker commitments.

On Friday, union offices connected to the factories participating in the first days of the strike – a GM plant in Missouri, a Stellantis Jeep plant in Ohio, and a Ford site in Michigan – were bustling with activity as workers signed up for picket duties and obtained signs to demonstrate.

Numerous politicians, including Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, arrived on the scene and scoffed at company executives’ warnings about the financial dangers of granting worker demands.

“He makes $20 million,” she told of Ford CEO Jim Farley. “If he is concerned about that, he should probably take a pay cut.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate representing the left, was scheduled to speak at a UAW rally on Friday afternoon.

Passing cars honked for strikers chanting “No deals, no wheels” outside the Michigan Ford plant.

Demonstrating employees said they were overdue for pay increases and other improvements, noting sacrifices – like foregoing automatic pay increases tied to inflation – made in 2009, when the firms faced severe financial distress.

Sandy Kirkland, a longtime Ford employee, remarked, “We gave up our concessions with the understanding that we would receive them back when things improved.” We are now required to contend for it.

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