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UAW President Shawn Fain named to Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People of 2024

(CBS-DETROIT) – After leading the United Auto Workers in their historic strike against the Detroit Three automakers, Shawn Fain has been named to Time’s list of the Most Influential People of 2024.

Time had helped President Joe Biden explain why he was chosen.

Biden began by referring to how he became a member Fain on the picket line in Van Buren County as the union entered its twelfth day of strikes against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

“Last September in Michigan, UAW President Shawn Fain told his fellow striking workers, ‘In this union, the highest authority is the members. In this country, the highest authority is the people.’ I know because I was there when he said it, as the first American president to stand on a picket line,” Biden said.

Biden discussed the historic strike and its impact.

“Shawn and I share a basic vision of how workers deserve to be treated,” Biden wrote. “Just as they made sacrifices when their employers were on the brink, they earn record contracts when those companies have record profits. It’s only fair. The historic pay increases the UAW has achieved under Shawn’s leadership continue the powerful legacy of a union leader and fellow UAW president. Walter Reuther, and have prompted virtually every automaker across the country to follow suit. They remind us that when unions win, all workers benefit.”

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The union began its historic strike, attacking all three Detroit automakers simultaneously for the first time, as their contracts expired on September 14. Automakers and the union were unable to reach an agreement on several areas, including higher wages, annual costs of home modifications and more benefits.

The six-week strike ended on October 30, 2023, after the union reaches an agreement with General Motors, the last of the three automakers left to make a deal with the UAW.

Biden also pointed out how Fain represents the “hard-won success” that unions, not just the UAW, had last year.

“Shawn represents the hard-won success that unions — from the Teamsters to the SEIU, to writers and actors, longshoremen and healthcare workers, baristas, warehouse workers and more — had in making 2023 the Year of the Union,” Biden said. said in the Time Story. “They proved what I’ve always said: Wall Street didn’t build America. The middle class built America. And unions built the middle class.”

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The announcement that Fain will be included on the list comes while Republican governors criticize the UAW’s efforts. The criticism came a day before 4,300 Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, began voting on whether to join the union.

The governors of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas released a joint statement saying, “We don’t need to pay a third party to tell us who can pick up a box or flip a switch.”

Fain has been included in the Innovators section of Time’s list.

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