President Biden made it clear that he believes that autoworkers deserve a share of automaker record profits and that autoworkers deserve a contract that keeps them in the middle class.
President Biden spoke about the United Auto Workers strike and said:
I have been in touch with both paries since this began over the last few weeks. Over the past decade. Auto companies have seen record profits, including the last few years because of the extraordinary skill and sacrifice of the UAW workers. Those record profits have not been shared fairly, in my view, with those workers.
Just as the Treasury Department has released the report pointing out that the most comprehensive report deeming how unions are good for workers and non-union workers. Unions raise workers’ wages, increase homeownership, increase retirement savings, access to critical benefits like sick leave and child care, and use inequality. All of which strengthens our economy for all workers. That’s because unions raise standards across the workplaces and entire industries. Pushing up wages and strengthening benefits for everyone. That’s why strong unions are critical for a growing economy. That’s especially true as we transition to a clean energy future, which we’re in the process of doing.
I believe that should be fair and a win-win for auto workers and auto companies. But I also believe that the contract agreement must lead to a vibrant made in America future that promotes good, strong, middle-class jobs that workers can raise a family on. The UAW remains at the heart of our economy. And where the big three continue to lead in innovation, excellence, quality and leadership.
Last night, after negotiations broke down, the UAW announced a targeted strike at a few big three auto plants. Let’s be clear. No one wants a strike. Say it again. No one wants a strike. But I respect workers’ rights to use their options. And I understand the workers’ frustrations. Over generations, they sacrificed to keep the energy alive. Especially for the economic crisis and pandemic. Workers deserve a fair share of the benefits they create for an enterprise.
I do appreciate that the parties have been working around the clock. When I first called them on the first day of negotiation, I said please stay at the table as long as you can to try to work this out. But I believe they should go further to ensure record profits mean record contracts for the UAW. It should be shared by record contracts. We need labor agreements for the future. It’s my hope that the parts can return to the negotiation table to forge a win-win agreement.
The difference between Biden and a Republican president is that Biden is willing to publicly support the union and sees unionization as vital to growing and sustaining the middle class. President Biden is not going demonizing striking workers or make it more difficult for workers to negotiate good contracts like Trump did when he was president.
Having a pro-worker president matter.
President Biden was correct. No one wants a strike, but it is not too much to ask corporations who are making record profits to share some of those gains with their workers through the process of collective bargaining.