On Friday, United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain announced an expansion of its strike with 38 sites and almost 5,500 more workers joining the action. The General Motors and Stellantis parts distribution centers are located across 20 US states.
In a press conference, Fain noted that the latest round of walkouts is targeted at General Motors (GM) plants and Stellantis distribution sites as it made significant progress with Ford Motor Company, but GM and Stellantis "will need some pushing."
"All that represents serious movement on tiers, pay and job security. We want to recognize that Ford is serious about reaching a deal," Fain said. "At GM and Stellantis, it’s a different story."
In a statement, GM said the escalation by the UAW is "unnecessary." It said, "We have now presented five separate economic proposals that are historic, addressing areas that our team members have said matter most: wage increases and job security while allowing GM to succeed and thrive into the future."
"We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible," GM added.
Stellanits questioned if the UAW leadership ever had "an interest in reaching an agreement in a timely manner," in its own statement. "They seem more concerned about pursuing their own political agendas than negotiating in the best interests of our employees and the sustainability of our U.S. operations given the market's fierce competition," it added.
The UAW's "Stand-up Stike" began on September 15, with employees at GM Ford and Stellanits walking off the job, refusing to work until a new labor agreement was reached and they were offered better benefits and wages.
Last week, it was revealed that former President Donald Trump plans to skip the second debate in the GOP presidential primary to hold a rally with the striking auto workers.
In a post on Truth Social, the former president said the UAW workers "are being sold down the 'drain' with this all-electric car SCAM." He added, "They’ll be made in China, under Crooked Joe’s CHINA FIRST POLICY."
"AUTOWORKERS, VOTE FOR TRUMP," Trump wrote. "I’LL MAKE YOU VICTORIOUS & RICH. IF YOUR “LEADERS” WON’T ENDORSE ME, VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE, NOW. WITH THE DEMOCRATS & CROOKED JOE CALLING THE SHOTS, YOU’LL BE JOBLESS & PENNILESS WITHIN 4 YEARS. REMEMBER, BIDEN IS A CROOK WHO HAS BEEN PAID MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BY CHINA, & OTHERS. He is a Manchurian Candidate!!!"
The union has refused to endorse President Biden, citing a concern with his administration's push for electric vehicles.
On Friday evening, President Biden announced he would be traveling to Michigan to "join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create."
"It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs," he said in a post on X.
Biden's announcement comes after Fain had invited him to join the workers on the picket line, according to a report from earlier that morning, while still having refused to endorse him.
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