In the United States, Joe Biden supports the automobile strikers.

Lors du piquet de grève tenu par le syndicat United Auto Workers (UAW) devant une usine d’assemblage Ford, à Wayne (Michigan), le 15 septembre 2023.

Joe Biden has clearly sided with automotive workers, who began targeted strikes against the three American automotive giants, General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler), on Friday, September 15th.

“Let’s be clear, nobody wants a strike. However, I respect the workers’ right to use their options in the collective bargaining system and I understand their frustration,” stated the Democratic president in a speech at the White House. Although the automakers have made “significant offers,” Joe Biden believes that “they should go further to ensure that record profits for companies translate into record contracts for the UAW,” the historic union of the sector.

Le bénéfice opérationnel mondial cumulé des trois constructeurs de Detroit (Michigan) s’est en effet envolé de 4,8 milliards de dollars (4,5 milliards d’euros) en 2020 à 29,4 milliards de dollars en 2021 et à 37,2 milliards en 2022.

The strikers are asking for approximately a 36% salary increase over four years, a 32-hour workweek, and a return to guaranteed pensions. The three companies, on the other hand, have proposed an increase of about 20% in wages. GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, who is very close to Joe Biden, expressed her disappointment. “I am extremely frustrated and disappointed,” she said on Friday to CNBC. “We don’t need to go on strike at the moment. We have put a historic offer on the table.”

The UAW has chosen to simultaneously strike against the three automakers, which is a first, but they are currently targeting only one factory per automaker. As a result, employees have gone on strike at the Ford Bronco site in Detroit, the Stellantis Jeep site in Toledo, Ohio, and a GM truck factory in Missouri. The union is focusing on the industrial facilities that produce the most profitable products for the automakers, but currently only around 12,700 employees are on strike out of a total of 140,000 automotive union members.

Stratégie offensive de l’UAW, le syndicat historique du secteur

This strategy allows for the preservation of the financial strength of the labor unions and leaves company management in uncertainty. It is the strategy of the new UAW leader, Shawn Fain. Fain, a former Chrysler electrician from Ohio, represents the left wing of unionism. At 54 years old, he was elected this winter after a corruption scandal hit the union in 2020, resulting in some former leaders being imprisoned, and the federal government demanding that the president be directly elected by the members and not just by the union section leaders.

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