The Wall Street did not build this country. Unions built the middle class,” Biden, wearing a baseball cap and quarter-zip sweater, told striking workers. Unions built the middle class,” Biden, wearing a baseball cap and quarter-zip sweater, told the striking workers.
“Let’s keep going; you deserve what you’ve earned, and you deserve a hell of a lot more than what you’re getting paid now,” Biden said to cheers from the group.
He stood with workers at UAW Local 174 wearing red shirts and holding signs that read “UAW on strike” and “saving the American dream.”
“You guys, UAW, you saved the automobile industry back in 2008 and before,” he said. He stood with workers at UAW Local 174 wearing red shirts and holding signs that read “UAW on strike” and “saving the American dream.”
He said, “You guys, UAW, you saved the automobile industry back in 2008 and before.” They are doing extremely well now. You should be doing incredibly well too” he said. “Stick to it, because you deserve the raise and other benefits you need,” he added. “Let’s get back what we lost, OK?”
Negotiations between the UAW and Ford, Stellantis and General Motors have been focused on pay increases, pensions and career security. When asked by a reporter if workers in Michigan deserved the 40 percent raise they requested, Biden responded with “yes.” He had not previously said that he supported the 40 percent increase in pay and the 32-hour workweek workers were asking for.
Negotiations between the UAW and Ford, Stellantis and General Motors have been focused on pay increases, pensions and career security, and workers also have concerns about electric vehicles (EVs) and how a shift toward EVs could affect their jobs and pay.
The president has maintained that he supports workers during negotiations with the Big Three auto companies but, he had previously stopped short of saying he supports the 40 percent pay increase and 32-hour work week they are asking for.
Fain, as well as Garlin Gilchrist II, Michigan’s lieutenant governor, and Democratic Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, Shri Thanedar and Rashida Tlaib greeted Biden at the airport.
“This is really a historic event, historic day what the president is going to be doing,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on the ride to Michigan.
Former President Trump is visiting Michigan on Wednesday to speak with workers, and the dueling events show the significance of Michigan and the union vote in 2024. The UAW has not endorsed Biden, saying in May it is concerned about the White House’s focus on EVs. The union said, however, that it wouldn’t endorse Trump.
Reporters asked Biden on Tuesday what it would take to get that endorsement.
“I’m not worried about that,” Biden said.
–Updated at 1:43 p.m.
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