Members of the United Auto Workers union stand on a picket line outside the Ford Motor Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, on September 15, 2023.
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A White House official told NBC News that the Biden administration does not plan to send two key officials to Detroit this week to potentially help broker a deal between striking autoworkers and the three major automakers. He said no more.
President Joe Biden announced last week that he was sending White House senior adviser Gene Sperling and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to help talks with companies and the United Auto Workers union.
However, the White House and UAW mutually agreed it would be better to speak virtually via Zoom, officials said Tuesday.
Sperling and Suh could travel to Detroit next week, but there are no firm plans to do so, the source added. “We will continue to evaluate the timing of travel based on the status of active negotiations,” a White House official said.
Biden mostly endorsed the auto workers strike in a speech Friday.the president called ford, general motors and Stellantis To share record profits with employees.
Despite this, Biden has been relatively unfavored by the UAW.
The union’s president, Sean Fein, told MSNBC on Monday that he does not believe the White House will play a major role in resolving the dispute.
“This fight is not about the president,” Fein said. “This is not about a former president or anyone before him. This fight is about workers who are tired of going backwards, standing up for economic and social justice and getting their fair share. .”
Approximately 13,000 UAW union members are striking at three major factories in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. This is the first time the union has targeted all three automakers at the same time.
Fein said late Monday that if “significant progress” is not made in negotiations by noon Friday, the UAW will launch additional strikes at more Ford, GM and Stellantis plants.
“Autoworkers have waited long enough to get things right with the Big Three. We are not waiting and we are not dithering. So Friday, September 22nd at noon will be the new deadline,” Fain said in a written statement. Video released by the union.
Although Biden frequently touts his middle-class upbringing, he has sought to stay closely connected to the labor movement. But the strike could test the president’s commitment to organized labor as he seeks re-election for a second term, with the threat of extended work stoppages and broader economic turmoil.
Former President Donald Trump has attacked the union’s leadership while asking the UAW to support him in his bid to take back the presidency in 2024.
President Trump will be absent from next week’s Republican primary debate and will instead travel to Detroit to meet with union members.