President Joe Biden has said that the members of the United Auto Workers union who are on strike against three auto giants deserve the 40 percent pay hike that they are demanding.
He made this remark while joining the picket line in Wayne County, Michigan, on Tuesday.
Replying to a question after brief remarks to the workers who are on strike for a second week, Biden said, “Yes, I think they should be able to bargain for that.”
Earlier, addressing the picketing workers, the pro-working class president said, “You saved the automobile industry back in 2008 and before. You made a lot of sacrifices. You gave up a lot. And the companies were in trouble”.
“You deserve the significant raise you need and other benefits,” he added.
Thousands of UAW members at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis walked out on September 15, marking the beginning of a Stand Up Strike.
Their main demands include pay increases and cost of living adjustments, the end of a two-tiered wage structure, defined benefit pension plans for all, and a four-day workweek and more time off.
The UAW, which represents about 146,000 workers at the three major automobile manufacturing companies, proposed 40 percent hourly pay increases over the next four years.
The President’s visit to the striking workers at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne is seen as part of an attempt to ensure the support of the labor union in Michigan, seen as a key presidential election battleground state.
It comes a day before former President Donald Trump’s announced visit to Detroit to address union members, including from the UAW.
Biden’s visit is described as “historic” as he is the first U.S. president to join strikers on a picket line.
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