Biden to deliver remarks on United Auto Workers strike after talks collapse

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks on Friday about the contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and the Big Three auto companies, the White House said.

Members of the union went on strike at midnight and walked out at three plants: a General Motors site in Missouri; a Stellantis center in Ohio; and a Ford assembly plant in Michigan.

The White House has said that Biden has been closely following the developments of the talks and was briefed twice a day on their status while he was traveling last week in India and Vietnam.

Before he left for Asia, Biden spoke to the executives of the Big Three automakers by phone and urged them to stay at the negotiating table, the White House said.

Biden, who has promised to be the most pro-union president, had hosted UAW president Shawn Fain in the Oval Office in mid-July, and the two spoke again on Labor Day. The White House said Thursday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Biden had spoken with Fain again as well as the leaders of the three major auto companies.

White House officials have stressed that Biden believes in collective bargaining and has wanted a deal that bolsters middle-class jobs.

White House economic adviser Gene Sperling has been serving as the point person on key issues related to the labor union and auto companies. He’s been coordinating with acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, the White House said.

Before the strike, Biden said in remarks on Labor Day that he wasn’t worried about a UAW strike “until it happens.”

Fain, however, warned in an interview on MSNBC last week that a strike could actually happen, saying, “It’s looking that way.”

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