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Historic strike by American auto workers. Biden: Manufacturers must offer more.



Will the situation also affect the presidential elections?

In the United States, almost 13,000 workers at the factories of General Motors, Ford and Stellantis have stopped work due to the strike. It is a historic strike, the first in the union’s 88-year history. President Joe Biden supported the striking workers.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has gone on strike for the first time in history at three of the biggest US carmakers, known as “Detroit’s Big Three”, after talks with management failed to reduce differences in working conditions and wages.

Due to the strike, which involves approximately 12,700 workers at three plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio (one plant of each company), the production of popular car models such as the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado has stopped, foreign media write . The strikers represent only a small proportion of the union’s total of 150,000 members.

The union is demanding a 36 percent pay rise over four years and the elimination of a tiered pay scale that requires workers to have eight years of service before they are entitled to the same compensation as the companies’ longest-serving employees. The manufacturers offered a 17.5 to 20 percent wage increase without other benefits and changes to the wage system that the union had demanded.

“The problem is corporate greed”

The president of the union Shawn Fain he said that the union will not organize an even bigger strike for now, but he does not rule it out in the future if they do not agree on new contracts. “We could raise our wages by a lot and even if we didn’t raise car prices, we’d still make millions of dollars in profit,” Fain said, adding: “We are not the problem. The problem is corporate greed.”

Ford said they wanted to continue negotiating because they wanted to reach an agreement that would “rewarded employees while protecting Ford’s ability to invest in the future”. GM and Stellantis did not respond to the strike. Gerald Johnsona GM executive, recently said the union proposal would cost them $100 billion, so he “absolutely impossible to accept”.

Biden says he understands the striking workers

A prolonged strike in the auto industry could potentially jeopardize his re-election chances Joe Biden for the president of the United States, as he declared himself the most pro-union president in American history.

Reacting to the strike, Biden said, according to the BBC, that no one wanted a strike, but that he understood the workers’ dissatisfaction. “Workers deserve a fair share,” he said. According to him, manufacturers have presented several important offers, but that they should offer more to ensure that record corporate profits also mean record wages.

On Thursday, Biden spoke with union and manufacturing leaders. He said he would send a consultant to Detroit Gene Sperling and the Minister of Labour Julie Su, to ensure government involvement in the talks and a successful deal for both sides.

Biden needs the support of auto workers to ensure victory in key states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan in next year’s elections. So far, the UAW is the only major union that has not endorsed Biden as a presidential candidate.

Source: Rtvslo

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