The United Auto Workers (UAW) are not convinced by President Joe Biden’s pro-union sentiments, and some members hope for his replacement in the 2024 election, according to the New York Times.
The union announced a historic strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — on Thursday, and workers did not show up to work at three plants on Friday. The self-proclaimed “most pro-union president ever” has sided with the striking UAW, but his policies have not convinced the union members of his support for the middle-class, the NYT reported.
“I think our president is not as strong a president as we need,” Jennifer Banks, a 29-year Ford employee who is striking, told the NYT. “I’m hoping somebody can replace him. I hope it doesn’t leave me no choice but to vote the other way.”
The union and automakers were in contract negotiations regarding pay raises and the restoration of benefits, but the contract expired on Sept. 14 and set the union’s strike in motion. The 146,000-member union initially demanded a 46% increase in wages within five years and a shortened work week while receiving pay for a 40-hour work week, along with other demands about pensions and health care plans for retirees.
"The Big Three, all them CEOs, they have no idea what it feels like to wake up in pain almost every day because we worked those 6 to 7 days of the week, and we have no time to rest our bodies. They don't understand that." #StandUpUAW https://t.co/JwIPQHQcjB
— UAW (@UAW) September 18, 2023
“I can’t tell when he speaks to the public if he’s being told to say it or if he’s genuinely saying it,” Banks told the NYT, referring to remarks Biden made on Friday.
UAW President Shawn Fain said Sunday on “Face the Nation” that the union has not endorsed President Biden for the 2024 election because the union “expect[s] action, not words.” Biden sent Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House Senior Advisor Gene Sperling to Detroit to help create a “win-win” contract, according to Sept. 15 remarks.
“People don’t join unions because they’re Democrats or liberals,’’ Michael Podhorzer, a former political director for the AFL-CIO, told the NYT. “People are in unions because that’s where they work.”
The Biden administration’s green agenda that incentives electric vehicle manufacturing has been brought to the center of the strike. The union fears that the transition away from gas-powered vehicles to all-electric vehicles will decrease the demand for labor, Politico reported.
The White House and UAW did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.