DETROIT (Michigan News Source) – During the fourth day of the United Auto Workers ‘Stand Up Strike,’ new contract offers have been rejected, and other government and policy officials are weighing in on the strike.
The UAW shared on social media UAW President Shawn Fain speaking to the participants with the caption, “We’re not the problem. Corporate Greed is the problem!”
“You know, over the last eight weeks,” UAW President Fain said, “the CEOs didn’t seem to be able to find the time to show up for bargaining. But in the last week the CEOs and the executives have found a lot of time to be able to go on corporate news and talk the talk.”
Over the weekend, Stellantis offered the auto union a 21% pay hike, which was rejected by the UAW President who is seeking a higher pay increase.
“It’s definitely a no-go,” Fain said about the Stellantis offer, who has previously asked for 40% pay increases to match that of Big Three CEOs. “We’ve made that very clear to the companies.”
President Joe Biden has also weighed in on the strike encouraging the two parties to come to an agreement sooner than later commenting that “No one wants a strike.”
“But I respect workers’ right to use their options under the collective bargaining system,” President Biden said adding later, “I do appreciate that the parties have been working around the clock. I’ve — and when I first called them at the very first day of the negotiation, I said, ‘Please stay at the table as long as you can to try to work this out.’ And the — they’ve been around the clock, and the companies have made some significant offers.”
Additionally, President Biden shared his support for better contracts for the UAW, also adding that he would be sending Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House Senior Advisor Gene Sperling to help with negotiations.
“But I believe they should go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW,” President Biden said. “I’m going to say that again: Record corporate profits — which they have — should be shared by record contracts for the UAW.”
Despite sharing a mutual affinity for cars, U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Ann Arbor) revealed a different opinion about President Biden’s remarks about steering negotiations.
“First of all, I do not believe that the president should intervene or be at the negotiating table. I’ve said that from the beginning,” Dingell said in an interview Sunday with “Face The Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan.
She later added that she had been in communication with Sperling, and has echoed her sentiments.
“I talk to Gene Sperling multiple times a day and have all summer … I don’t think they’ve got a role at the negotiating table,” Rep. Dingell said.
According to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will be monitoring the length of the strike, and its potential impacts.
“In the event of an extended strike, the likelihood of downstream impacts to suppliers will also become more likely. Through existing forums, technical assistance providers, and business retention efforts, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will continue to monitor and provide timely information and resources that can be utilized to help businesses prepare for a strike,” said LEO officials in a statement.
Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer showed on social media her support for the strike as she joined in the ranks and file of those striking the Big Three Automakers.
“We’re at our strongest when we’re working together – as Team Michigan – to create a brighter future where everyone is able to thrive. Michigan was built by working people and we stand together in the fight for good-paying jobs,” Gov. Whitmer said in a tweet.
She also said in a tweet, “When our workers succeed, our state succeeds. We are all on Team Michigan. I’m proud to stand with the hardworking men and women of the UAW and remain hopeful that this strike can be resolved quickly.”
Last Friday, Ford Motor Co. indefinitely laid off 600 workers that are not on strike at the Michigan Bronco plant because of the impact of the work stoppage, according to Reueters. GM says it expects to halt operations at its Kansas car plant this week because of the strike at its nearby Missouri plant, affecting 2,000 workers.