The union representing workers at three of the largest automakers in the United States has launched an unprecedented strike at three plants in the country, demanding wage increases. This job action threatens the economy and has received the support of President Joe Biden.
In front of the Ford plant in Wayne, in the Detroit region (Michigan), the president of the powerful United Auto Workers (UAW) union, Shawn Fain, announced the three places selected to start the simultaneous strike at General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford. This move is the first of its kind in the history of the US auto industry.
The plants on strike are in Wentzville (Missouri), owned by GM, and in Toledo (Ohio), owned by Stellantis, with around 12,700 employees participating in the strike.
President Biden has backed the workers’ demand, arguing that automakers’ record profits must translate into fair agreements for employees. Despite the economic threat this strike represents, Biden will send representatives to help with negotiations.
The UAW is demanding a wage increase of about 40% over four years, while manufacturers have proposed increases no higher than 20%. Negotiations began two months ago, and employees are seeking not only salary increases but also more benefits.
Despite the economic pressure facing Biden, who is seeking re-election in 2024, his support for unions and the search for fair agreements are at the center of his political strategy in this complicated terrain. A prolonged strike could have significant repercussions for the US economy. However, Biden has emphasized the importance of sharing the industry’s record profits with workers.
In mid-August, the president advocated for a fair agreement that strengthens workers’ rights in the transition to electric vehicles, demonstrating his commitment to the well-being of American auto industry employees.