Chicago: US President Joe Biden has visited a picket line outside a General Motors parts distribution centre in Wayne County, US state of Michigan, to show his support to autoworkers who are on the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big Three US automakers.
“You made a lot of sacrifice. You gave up a lot when the companies were in trouble. Now, they’re doing incredibly well… You should be doing incredibly well, too,” Biden said on Tuesday amid the applause from the striking workers.
“You deserve a significant raise you need and other benefits… It’s time for them to step up for us.”
“Wall Street didn’t build the country,” Biden added.
“The middle class built the country, and unions built the middle class. That’s a fact. Let’s keep it going.”
This is the first time in at least a century for a sitting President visiting a labor union’s picket line, at the invitation of UAW President Shawn Fain, The Detroit News quoted the White House on Tuesday.
Fain joined Biden at the picket line. He thanked Biden for coming, saying the President “will do right by the working class”.
US former President Donald Trump is set to make an address on Wednesday at an auto supplier in Macomb County, Michigan, showing his support to the autoworkers, Xinhua news agency reported.
The UAW went on strike on September 15 at select facilities of Ford, GM and Stellantis, and expanded it to 38 GM and Stellantis facilities on September 22.
Nationwide, UAW autoworkers at 41 Ford Motor Co, GM and Stellantis NV facilities are on strike, asking for higher wages, pensions for all workers and the elimination of a two-tier pay scale.