Megaphone in hand, he shouted with Guevarist emphasis: « Companies have problems, now they are very good. You also have to be very good. ” Several thousand workers raised their signs and witnessed the event. He stayed for a quarter of an hour in Wayne, a peaceful county in Michigan with 17,000 inhabitants living under the influence of the Ford factory industry. A couple of sentences in a similar confrontational style (“Wall Street didn’t build this country, the middle class built this country, and the unions built the middle class,” he said … Howdy!), a few greetings and the helicopter back to his White House office.
It is said that, at the age of 80, Joe Biden has done what no US president has ever done. It later spread that in 2020, while he was a presidential candidate, he supported casino workers in Las Vegas and auto parts workers in Kansas City. And that on October 3, 1902, former President Theodore Roosevelt supported the United Mine Workers of America in a historic strike.
The concrete thing is that the current Democratic president came to support the struggle of the workers of the automakers Ford, General Motors and Stellantis: two giants and a little-known conglomerate but as powerful as it is with Chrysler , Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Dodge. and other groups. A very high percentage of its workers are associated with the United Auto Workers union (the UAW unites almost 150 thousand workers in total) and they have paralyzed the movement, in an indefinite period, since September 15. There are several demands but one is central: they are asking for a 40% salary increase, the same as agreed by the hierarchies of the same companies. Biden supports them. Although the regulatory state of the Empire does not allow its president to impose any type of conciliation that imposes salary conditions on companies of this type, real protagonists of royal power.
More than a year
It’s still a long way to go until Tuesday, November 5, 2024, when the United States elects the 47th president in its history. But the election campaign is on fire. And although the automotive conflict covers many states, Michigan is one of the considered “pendulum” (like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, etc.), where the Democrats reversed the victories of the Republicans and now, both, must conduct vote by vote.
So, a few hours later, in Clinton Township, north of Detroit, another phrase was echoed. “(Biden’s thing is) nothing more than a public relations trick,” Donald Trump said angrily, as if he couldn’t do anything wrong to gain support. In fact, no less than the next day he stopped by Drake Enterprises to chat with the workers, also auto workers, though never enrolled in the UAW. He told them that he would “risk everything to protect the working class from the corrupt and political class that has spent decades sucking life, wealth and blood from the country.” Textual. Shamelessly. Biden also encouraged the “arrival of electric cars that will disrupt the auto industry in two years.” Drake makes gear shift levers for heavy trucks. But, also, the components used in electric cars…
He then tried to meet with UAW leader Shawn Fain, but was denied, according to the union.
This Monday the election campaign will continue and also the strike, strengthened, because about 7,000 workers belonging to the Ford assembly facilities in Chicago (Illinois) and GM in Lansing (Michigan) will participate. Those who started the strike belong to Wentzville (Missouri), from GM; Toledo (Ohio), from Stellantis and Wayne (Michigan) from Ford. Meanwhile, another surprising fact is known: 53% of Americans support this strike and 22% oppose it.
This is in the context of other long-term strikes that have taken place in the United States, such as the huge strike of actors and screenwriters in Hollywood or the strike of hotel workers in California and Las Vegas.