June 22, 2024

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All autoworkers deserve deals like those the UAW won

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U.S. President Joe Biden puts on a t-shirt of the UAW Local 1268 during a United Auto Workers (UAW) union members meeting, in Belvidere, Illinois, U.S., November 9, 2023. 

Leah Millis | Reuters

DETROIT – President Joe Biden said Thursday that all autoworkers deserve contracts like the ones recently won by the United Auto Workers from General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler-parent Stellantis.

Biden, wearing a red UAW T-shirt given to him by a local union leader, said the deals won by UAW negotiators are “game changers” that set a “new standard” for blue-collar workers.

The deals include 25% wage increases, including 11% upon ratification; reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments; additional contributions for retirees; billions in new investments; and other benefits. The tentative deals must still be ratified by union members; voting is ongoing.

“I’m a little selfish, I want this type of contract for all autoworkers,” Biden said during a visit with UAW President Shawn Fain in Belvidere, Illinois. “And I have a feeling the UAW has a plan for that.”

Biden said he personally spoke with Stellantis North America Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart regarding a plant in Belvidere that the company had indefinitely idled earlier this year and was expected to potentially close.

“I told my team, ‘Make Stellantis know Belvidere is a priority,’ so I got on the phone and let him know personally I thought it was a priority,” Biden said.

President Joe Biden speaks next to Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers, as he joins striking members of the union on the picket line outside GM’s Willow Run Distribution Center in Bellville, Michigan, Sept. 26, 2023.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Under the UAW’s tentative agreement with Stellantis, the plant is expected to reopen to produce a midsize pickup truck in 2027, followed by $3.2 billion in new battery cell operations at or near the plant a year later.

The company declined to directly comment on Biden’s visit but said it “stayed…

2023-11-10 08:34:11

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