First sitting U.S. president to participate in strike protest
“Support for union demand for 40% wage increase”
Musk criticizes companies for going out of business
Trump also visits an automobile parts factory
U.S. President Joe Biden visited the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike site in Michigan on the 26th and told union members demanding a 40% wage increase, “Don’t give up and demand it.” In fact, this is the first time that a sitting U.S. president has visited the strike site. As the gap in the virtual confrontation with former President Donald Trump widened and the theory of crisis spread, the ‘big three’ automobile companies, which are symbols of the US manufacturing industry, sided with the union instead of acting as mediators between labor and management. Former President Trump also decided to visit an auto parts factory in Michigan on the 27th. There are predictions that this strike, which will take place in the Rust Belt, a battleground that will determine the outcome of next year’s U.S. presidential election, will lead to a full-scale clash between President Biden and former President Trump.
On this day, President Biden visited the General Motors (GM) plant in Wayne, Michigan, where UAW union members were on strike, and participated in a 15-minute picket protest. President Biden, wearing a union hat handed to him by UAW President Sean Payne, personally took to the megaphone and said, “You deserve significant wage increases and other benefits.” He continued, “UAW made a lot of sacrifices when reviving the automobile industry (which was in trouble) due to the global financial crisis in 2008,” and “We saved them (automakers).” “Now is the time for them to step up for us.”
In particular, when asked by a reporter whether he supported the 40% wage increase demanded by the union, President Biden said, “Yes,” and emphasized, “We must be able to negotiate for this.” The UAW argues that the average wage increase for executives at the Big 3 auto companies, including CEOs, is more than 40%, and that the average wage increase for union members should also be more than 40%. On the other hand, in a situation where automobile companies proposed a 20-25% wage increase, saying, “The calculation of the average wage increase rate for executives was incorrect,” President Biden sided with the union. Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticized this, saying, “This is a sure way to ruin automobile companies.”
U.S. presidential historians assessed this as the most direct support for unions by a sitting president since 1902, when President Theodore Roosevelt invited striking coal mine union members to the White House. The New York Times (NYT) said, “Biden’s (union) ‘all-in’ approach carries political risks,” and added, “If the negative economic impact of a long-term strike becomes greater, the president who takes one side may be criticized.” pointed out.
The reason President Biden participated in the unprecedented strike protest, risking the risk of taking responsibility for prolonging the strike, is because the Rust Belt, which refers to the declining industrial zone including Michigan, where the strike is taking place, is a region that must be won for re-election. . In Michigan, former President Trump won the 2016 presidential election, but supported President Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
However, as the controversy over gerontocracy (age politics) has recently emerged, President Biden is falling behind former President Trump in opinion polls in seven battleground states, including Michigan. UAW Chairman Payne said, “For the first time in history, a sitting U.S. president came out and joined the picket protest,” but did not publicly express support for President Biden.
At another event held in Michigan that day, President Biden said, “I am running again. “Age has brought me some wisdom,” he said, reiterating his will to run for re-election. In particular, he strongly criticized former President Trump, saying, “Trump and the MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republican Party are determined to destroy democracy.”
Former President Trump criticized on social media that day, saying, “Remember that Biden is walking around slowly, pretending to be a picketer, but then he wants to take your jobs and give them to China.” On the 27th, while former President Trump is meeting with 500 current and former union members at an auto parts factory in Michigan, the Republican Party will hold the second presidential debate. Former President Trump, who ranked first in approval ratings, will not participate this time following the first debate. Meanwhile, the Manhattan District Court in New York partially acknowledged former President Trump’s charge of financial fraud by inflating the value of his assets by $3.6 billion (approximately 4.8 trillion won) to obtain bank loans in a summary judgment decision on this day.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.