The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is expanding its strike, as promised, since it hasn't made serious progress in its negotiations with the automakers. There are now 38 production and distribution plants on strike. The strike doesn't affect Ford but it does affect Stellantis and GM.
According to union leader Shawn Fain, "real progress" has been made in negotiations with Ford. "We still have serious problems to work through, but we want to recognize that Ford is showing that they are serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it's a different story."
The increase in plants joining the strike was announced shortly after President Joe Biden announced that he will meet with workers on strike. As planned, Biden will go to Michigan a day before Donald Trump, who had already announced his intention to meet with automobile unionists instead of attending the second Republican debate.
Biden's intention is to "stand in solidarity with the men and women of the UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create." However, Donald Trump blamed Biden and his policies that favor electric vehicles for being part of the problem affecting the American automobile industry. According to Trump, the Biden administration is relocating production to China.
Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create.
It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs.
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 22, 2023
Unions will be an important issue for Trump and Biden to deal with as they campaign for the presidency. In the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump became the Republican candidate with the greatest support among union members' households since Ronald Reagan. In the 2020 election, Biden managed to snatch that advantage from him, with 57% of the vote compared to Trump's 40%.
Canada avoids going on strike
On the other side of the northern border, Canadian automobile workers also planned to go on strike but it never actually happened. There, the Big Three automobile companies reached an agreement with employees to improve their working conditions. Unifor, the Canadian union, had threatened to strike at Ford's three main factories in Canada, which have about 5,600 workers, if the company did not reach an agreement with them.
In the United States, the 12,000 UAW workers are asking for a reduction in weekly working hours and salary increases over the next four years.