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HomeLatest NewsBiden supports striking Michigan UAW autoworkers: 'Stay strong, don't give up'

Biden supports striking Michigan UAW autoworkers: ‘Stay strong, don’t give up’

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President Joe Biden showed his support for United Auto Workers (UAW) members by joining them on the picket line outside Detroit. The president urged the strikers to continue their fight for new contracts, emphasizing their importance in saving the auto industry during the financial crisis in 2008. Biden commended the UAW members for their sacrifices and insisted that they deserve significant raises and other benefits. His presence marked the first time a sitting president has joined a picket line in at least a century.

The president traveled to the General Motors Redistribution Center, which is one of 38 parts and distribution centers across 20 states currently on strike. The invite to join the picket line came from UAW President Shawn Fain. Former President Donald Trump, on the other hand, chose to skip the second Republican presidential debate to rally with workers at a nearby auto supplier. However, those workers are not represented by the UAW, and Fain has been critical of Trump’s visit.

The UAW strike has put President Biden in a politically challenging position. Despite branding himself as “the most pro-union president in American history,” the union’s demands partly stem from concerns about Biden’s electric vehicle policies, which they believe will result in job losses. The autoworkers are asking for 40% hourly pay increases, a reduced 32-hour workweek, traditional pensions, elimination of compensation tiers, restoration of cost-of-living adjustments, and other benefits such as enhanced retiree, vacation, and family leave benefits. The UAW, which represents workers at General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, has historically supported Democrats but has not yet endorsed Biden for re-election.

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