According to recent reports, the United Auto Workers (UAW) is not persuaded by President Joe Biden's pro-union sentiments.
According to a report by The Daily Caller, some members even hope for his replacement in the 2024 election.
The union announced a historic strike against Detroit's Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis — on Thursday, and workers did not turn up to work at three plants on Friday.
The self-proclaimed "most pro-union president ever" has sided with the striking UAW, but according to the New York Times, his policies have failed to persuade union members of his support for the middle class.
“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 the automakers were in the process of negotiating a new contract regarding salary hikes and the restoration of benefits. The previous contract expired on September 14 and set in motion the union's strike against the automakers.
In the beginning, the union, which had 146,000 members, sought a wage increase of 46% within five years, a shorter work week while still receiving paid for a 40-hour work week, and several other demands, including pensions and health care plans for retirees. These demands were eventually dropped.
"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 stated on "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the union has not endorsed President Joe Biden for the 2024 presidential election because the union "expect[s] action, not words."
According to remarks made on September 15, President Biden sent Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House Senior Advisor Gene Sperling to Detroit to help create a "win-win" contract.
“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 green agenda of the Biden administration that encourages the production of electric vehicles has become the focal point of the strike.
According to Politico, the union is concerned that the transition from gas-powered to electric vehicles will reduce labor demand.