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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a 2024 presidential election campaign event in Summerville, South Carolina.

Reuters

Trump makes his Michigan pitch

As autoworkers walk picket lines in 21 states, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are both in Michigan, the heart of the American auto industry, trying to woo union workers. Both men hope to win support from voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, three states with large numbers of union members that proved decisive in both the 2016 election of Trump and the 2020 election of Biden. That’s where the similarity in their messages ends.

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Striking United Auto Workers members picket outside the Stellantis Jeep Plant in Toledo, Ohio.

Reuters

Autoworkers’ strike highlights Biden’s union problem ahead of 2024 vote

Bad news for US President Joe Biden: as the United Auto Workers’ strike enters its fifth day, labor and climate priorities are colliding in a crucial election year.

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A United Auto Workers union member holds a sign outside Stellantis Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to mark the beginning of contract negotiations in Sterling Heights, Mich., in July.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

US autoworkers drive a hard bargain

Unionized workers at America’s Big 3 automakers could be on strike as of Sept. 14. The 146,000 members of the United Auto Workers and their pugnacious president, Shawn Fain, are ready to rumble. For the first time, the UAW has not yet chosen a “target” company against which to strike but has threatened to walk off the jobs at all three at once.

What do they want?

The UAW is demanding a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay, and a restoration of traditional pensions. In response, Ford offered a 9% wage increase and one-time lump-sum payments, for a total raise of 15% over four years. Stellantis and GM have yet to file counterproposals, leading to the UAW recently filing charges of unfair labor practices against them.

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