President Biden Sends Team to Support Talks in Strike Between UAW and Big Three Auto Companies

Support Team Sent by President Biden to Assist in Autoworkers’ Strike


A team dispatched by President Joe Biden to help resolve the strike between the United States’ largest autoworkers union and the Big Three auto companies plans to be in Detroit to support talks “early in the week,” according to an administration official.

White House Advisors Named for Assistance

White House adviser Gene Sperling and Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su were appointed by the president to go to Detroit and assist in ending the walkout by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which began on Friday.

Engagement and Coordination Efforts

Sperling, who has been handling key issues related to the union and the companies, has been coordinating with Su. Both Sperling and Acting Secretary Su have been engaging with the parties by phone for weeks and plan on being physically present in Detroit early in the week.

Administration’s Pleasure in Continuation of Talks

The official expressed the administration’s satisfaction with the parties’ commitment to continue meeting, as they had been doing before the contract expired.

Supporting Negotiations

Su and Sperling’s objective is not to act as mediators or intervene, but rather to provide constructive support to the negotiations in any way the parties deem fit.

Biden’s Hope for Resumption of Negotiations

President Biden stated his hope that the UAW and Big Three would return to negotiations.

Biden’s Understanding of Workers’ Frustrations

After talks collapsed, Biden acknowledged the frustrations of workers who feel that despite automobile companies registering “record profits,” these gains have not been fairly shared with the workers.

Respect for Workers’ Rights

Biden emphasized his respect for workers’ right to exercise their options under the collective bargaining system, stating that while no one wants a strike, he understands their choice.

The Strike’s Challenge for President Biden

The strike poses a particular challenge for President Biden, who has proclaimed himself as “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” While the UAW has historically supported Democratic candidates, former President Donald Trump gained significant support from blue-collar autoworkers.

UAW’s Call for Support from Politicians

Before the strike was declared, UAW President Shawn Fain stated that a walkout would compel Biden and other politicians to take a stance regarding organized labor.

Strike Actions

At midnight on Friday, approximately 13,000 UAW members initiated strikes at a General Motors site in Missouri, a Stellantis center in Ohio, and a Ford assembly plant in Michigan.

Potential Strike Pay Duration

If all UAW members participated in the strike, the union would have enough funds to provide approximately 11 weeks of strike pay.

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