President Biden has once again weighed in on the ongoing negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Big Three Detroit automakers (GM, Ford, and Stellantis), this time indicating that he does not think a strike will happen. Just last month, the Biden administration issued a statement urging the UAW and Big Three automakers to reach a fair agreement. The current auto contracts are set to expire September 14th.
Per a report from Reuters, Biden commented on the possibility of an automotive labor strike on Monday.
“I’m not worried about a strike,” Biden said in Philadelphia ahead of a Labor Day parade speech. “I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
In response to Biden’s comment, UAW President Shawn Fain said he was “shocked.”
“He must know something we don’t know,” Fain said, per a report from The Detroit News. “Maybe the companies plan on walking in and giving us our demands the night before.”
“Our intent is not to strike,” Fain added. “That’s been our intent from Day One. But as we get down to the wire here, there’s three companies to bargain with and there’s 10 days left to do it. So I know what it looks like to me.”
Late last month, UAW workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a potential strike at each of the Big Three automakers. More recently, the UAW filed an unfair labor practice charge against General Motors and Stellantis, claiming that the automakers were employing delay tactics and not negotiating in good faith as the September 14th deadline approaches. In response, GM Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Gerald Johnson responded that the charge had “no merit and is an insult to the bargaining committees.”
UAW President Fain acknowledges the union’s demands are “ambitious,” but states that record profits justify the demands. A recent study indicates that a possible UAW strike could end up costing billions.