Biden Accuses Big 3 Automakers of Not Sharing ‘Record Profits’ Amid UAW Strike

Andrew Moran
By Andrew Moran
September 15, 2023Executive Branch

President Joe Biden accused the Big Three automakers of not sharing the “record profits” they have enjoyed in recent years, urging the companies to ensure fair contracts for employees who are members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

Thousands of UAW members walked off the job at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis simultaneously for the first time in the union’s 88-year history. The union, representing about 146,000 workers, is demanding a four-year contract that consists of a 40 percent pay hike, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, the elimination of compensation tiers, and the restoration of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) and conventional pensions.

The previous four-year contract expired at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sept. 14, prompting UAW to launch targeted strikes, also described by UAW President Shawn Fain as a “stand up strike.”

“Auto companies have seen record profits including the last few years because of the extraordinary skill and sacrifices of the UAW workers,” President Biden said in a speech from the White House. “Those record profits have not been shared fairly, in my view, with the workers.”

President Biden, who has described himself as “the most pro-union president in American history,” averred that the Big Three have presented “some significant offers,” but it is crucial “they should go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.”

Deutsche Bank analysts estimate that if the automakers were to accept the UAW’s full demands, it would cut as much as $2 billion from annual profits. Last year, GM reported a profit of less than $10 billion, while Stellantis posted a $17.9 billion profit. Ford lost $2 billion.

He confirmed that two administration officials will be dispatched to Detroit immediately: Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House Senior Advisor Gene Sperling.

In the meantime, President Biden is pushing all sides to return to the negotiating table and establish a “win-win agreement.” Nobody desires a strike, the president said, but he respects “workers’ right to use their options under the collective bargaining system.”

“The bottom line is that auto workers help create America,” he said. “They deserve a contract that sustains them in the middle class.”

President Biden cited a White House study that claims unions push up workers’ wages. The same report purported that the Inflation Reduction Act dispels some of the UAW employees worried about their jobs being threatened by electric vehicle manufacturing because it fosters “a fair and just electric vehicle transition.”

Auto Worker Strike in Michigan
United Auto Workers union members go on strike at the Ford plant in Wayne, Mich., on Sept. 15, 2023. (Lynn Wan/NTD)

Despite most large labor unions endorsing President Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign, the UAW has so far sat on the sidelines. This has prompted former President Donald Trump to try to court these workers who are worried about the administration’s emphasis on electric automobiles.

“The auto workers will not have any jobs, Kristen, because all of these cars are going to be made in China. The electric cars, automatically, are going to be made in China,” Trump told NBC News in an interview set to air Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

In a wide-ranging interview scheduled to air on Sept. 17, former President Trump told NBC News’ Kristen Welker that auto workers’ jobs will move to China while slamming UAW President Shawn Flain because “auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership.”

“The auto workers will not have any jobs, Kristen, because all of these cars are going to be made in China,” former President Trump said. “The electric cars, automatically, are going to be made in China.”

“I think he’s not doing a good job in representing his union, because he’s not going to have a union in three years from now,” he added.

The GOP presidential frontrunner encouraged the UAW leadership to endorse his 2024 campaign.

Mr. Fain has said another Trump presidency would be a “disaster” for the country.

From The Epoch Times

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