In an unprecedented move, President Biden joined the U.A.W. picket line in Michigan, demonstrating strong support for the union amidst their strike against major automakers.
Biden addresses strikers outside General Motors’ center, praising U.A.W.’s role in saving the automobile industry.
The union’s key demands include a 36% pay increase over four years and a 32-hour work week.
In a move that’s being heralded as unparalleled in recent political history, President Joe Biden displayed his support for the United Auto Workers (U.A.W.) by joining their picket line in Belleville, Michigan. Dressed in a UAW baseball cap and using a bullhorn, he addressed the strikers outside General Motors’ Willow Run Redistribution Center, praising the union’s pivotal role in salvaging the automobile industry, especially during the 2008 crisis.
White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, underscored the significance of this visit, emphasizing its historic nature amidst an active picket line. Notably, this appearance occurred a day prior to former President Donald Trump’s scheduled visit to Michigan. While Trump’s senior adviser, Jason Miller, dismissed Biden’s visit as a mere “photo opportunity”, the White House clarified that Trump’s plans had no bearing on Biden’s decision to join the picket line.
The U.A.W. began its strike against the major U.S. automakers, the “Big 3”, on September 15 after contract agreement talks fell through. Two primary demands from the union include a substantial 36% pay hike spread over four years and a reduced 32-hour work week. Despite Biden’s open support for the union, the White House has refrained from commenting on these specific demands.
In his address, Biden reiterated his stance on unions, attributing them as the backbone of the middle class and emphasizing their rightful claim to fair earnings. As the President stands with the workers, the political implications of this move remain to be seen, especially considering his bid for reelection.