President Joe Biden is scheduled to join the picket lines with striking auto workers in his visit to the metro-Detroit area, Tuesday. The visitation marks the first time a sitting U.S. president would join the picket lines during a labor strike.
Its been nearly two weeks since the contract between the General Motors, Stellantis, Ford Motor Company with the United Auto Workers expired on September 14th, and although the automakers have submitted proposals to the unions, both sides have failed to reach an agreement.
“President Biden’s visit to Michigan, home of the Big Three, to support our world-class autoworkers is historic,” said Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “The president is committed to strengthening our workforce and economy by bringing jobs home from overseas, reversing trends of the previous administration that lost jobs. Since taking office, we’ve announced 36,000 auto jobs with help from President Biden’s investments, proving it’s possible to support working men and women, while also securing record-breaking economic development deals that will guarantee jobs and investment for decades.”
President Biden is expected to visit auto workers on the picket line Tuesday afternoon in Wayne County. As of today, around 18,000 auto workers are striking nationwide, on the low end of the UAW’s 146,000 members. The key focus has been on wages and other benefits for its workers which haven’t kept up with the pace or fairness compared to salaries of executive leadership at the auto companies amid record profits.
“President Biden’s visit to Michigan shows the world that this president supports working families,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Governor Whitmer and I are grateful for the historic investments the Biden-Harris administration has made to help us bring supply chains home from overseas, restore workers’ rights to collectively bargain for safer workplaces and higher wages, create high-skilled, high-tech, good-paying jobs, and cement Michigan as the best place to innovate the future. We are grateful for the partnership of the Biden Administration, and we will continue to stand tall for working people in communities across Michigan.”
UAW President Shawn Fain continues to levy criticism at Stellantis and GM, although relaxing his hard stance against Ford in recent days, an indication there might be some progress with Ford Motor Company in negotiations.