HomePoliticsBiden urges automakers and union to reach 'fair deal'

Biden urges automakers and union to reach ‘fair deal’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Monday called for unionized auto workers and Detroit’s Big Three automakers to come together over a new agreement before their contacts expire next month.

“I ask all parties to work together to forge a fair agreement,” Biden said in a statement as talks between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Chrysler brand of Ford, General Motors and Stellantis continue.

“The UAW helped create the American middle class and as we move forward in this transition to new technologies, the UAW deserves a contract that supports the middle class,” Biden said in the White House statement.

The union represents 150,000 American hourly workers at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis and is not ruling out attacking all three US automakers if new contracts are not signed by the Sept. 14 deadline.

UAW President Shawn Fain briefed Biden on the contract talks last month and met with members of Congress as the union pushes for higher wages and benefits. He has also criticized some of the Biden administration’s electric vehicle policies, with the union so far not endorsing Biden’s re-election bid.

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Biden, a Democrat seeking a second term in the 2024 presidential election, has campaigned for union support and has weighed in on labor talks in the railroad industry and other sectors.

He has also made tackling climate change a major part of his agenda. “I support a fair transition to a clean energy future,” he said Monday.

UAW is trying to include battery factory workers in its contracts.

Stellantis said in a statement that it remains “committed to working constructively and collaboratively with the UAW to negotiate a new agreement that balances the concerns of our 43,000 employees with our vision for the future.”

Representatives from the UAW, Ford and GM did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Susan Heavey in Washington. Additional reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa. Editing by Caitlin Webber and Matthew Lewis.)

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