HomeBusinessU.A.W. Strike Is a...

U.A.W. Strike Is a Real-Time Test of Biden’s Economic Agenda


Rarely do so many parts of a president’s political identity collide in one place.

Friday’s walkout by the United Auto Workers is a real-time test of President Biden’s economic agenda: his call for higher wages for the middle class; his unapologetic pro-union stand; his climate-driven push to reimagine an electric vehicle future for car companies — centered in Michigan, a state that he must win in 2024 to remain in the Oval Office.

The targeted strike by some members of the 150,000-member union is designed to disrupt one of America’s oldest industries at a time that Mr. Biden is sharpening the contrast between what rivals and allies call “Bidenomics” and a Republican plan that the president warns is a darker version of trickle-down economics that mostly benefits the rich.

“Their plan — MAGAnomics — is more extreme than anything America has ever seen before,” Mr. Biden said on Thursday, just hours before the union voted to strike.

At the White House, Mr. Biden’s aides believe the outcome of the battle between the car companies and its workers will underscore many of the president’s arguments about the need to reduce income inequality, the benefits of empowered employees, and the surge in profits for companies like the automakers that makes them able to afford higher salaries.

“You’ve got rebuilding the middle class and building things again here,” said Eddie Vale, a longtime Democratic strategist who for years worked for the AFL-CIO. “You’ve got green energy, technology and jobs. You’ve got important states for the election. So all of these are sort of together here in a swirl.”

“If not handled correctly, there are policy and political risks,” Mr. Vale said, but added: “In the end, Biden is going to be able to play a role as an honest broker here.”

Those risks were already beginning to be evident Friday morning. In a searing statement, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce laid blame for the strike at Mr. Biden’s feet.

“The U.A.W. strike and indeed the ‘summer of strikes’ is the natural result of the Biden administration’s ‘whole of government’ approach to promoting unionization at all costs,” said Suzanne P. Clark, the president of the nation’s largest business lobbying group.

She predicted the strike will have “far reaching negative consequences for our economy.”

Unlike previous strikes involving rail workers or air traffic controllers, Mr. Biden has no special legal authority to intervene. In the current situation, he is not in control, though not exactly just an observer either.

Just before the strike vote, Mr. Biden called Shawn Fain, the president of the U.A.W., as well as top executives of the car companies. Aides said that the president told the parties to ensure that workers get a fair contract and he urged both sides to stay at the negotiating table.

That did not happen. Economists say a lengthy strike, if it goes on for weeks or even months, could be a blow to the American economy, especially in the middle of the country.

How Mr. Biden navigates the situation could have a significant impact on his hopes for re-election. In a CNN poll earlier this month, just 39 percent of people approved of the job he is doing as president and 58 percent said his policies have made economic conditions in the United States worse, not better.

The fact that the strike is centered in Michigan is also critical. Mr. Biden won the state over former President Donald J. Trump with just over 50 percent of the vote. Without the state’s 16 electoral votes, Mr. Biden would not have defeated his rival.

Still, the president is unwavering on policies toward both unions and the environment. In a Labor Day speech in Philadelphia, Mr. Biden renewed both his vision about what he called a “transition to an electric vehicle future made in America” — which he said will protect jobs — and his rock-solid belief in unions.

“You know, there are a lot of politicians in this country who don’t know how to say the word ‘union,’” he said. “They talk about labor, but they don’t say ‘union.’ It’s ‘union.’ I’m one of the — I’m proud to say ‘union.’ I’m proud to be the most pro-union president.”



Source link

Most Popular

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Read Now

Team India Squad for T20 World Cup 2024 Announced: Here’s India’s official team for T20 WC – Republic World

India T20 World Cup squad announcement | Image:APTeam India's squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 has been announced. On Tuesday, the selection committee led by chief selector Ajit Agarkar convened in Ahmedabad and zeroed in on a 15-member unit, which they deem is the...

Justice Minallah says state has to protect judges, independence of judiciary

Justice Athar Minallah on Tuesday said the state had to protect the judges and the judiciary’s independence as the Supreme Court took up a suo motu case pertaining to allegations of interference in judicial affairs.A six-member bench resumed...

Stock futures slip slightly as investors look ahead to Fed decision, megacap earnings: Live updates

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on February 29, 2024 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago | Getty ImagesU.S. stock futures fell slightly Tuesday morning after a positive start to the week, as investors brace for megacap earnings,...

Europe’s Economic Laggards Have Become Its Leaders

Something extraordinary is happening to the European economy: Southern nations that nearly broke up the euro currency bloc during the financial crisis in 2012 are growing faster than Germany and other big countries that have long served as the region’s growth engines.The dynamic is bolstering the...

Trump’s Plans for the Fed Make No Sense, Even for Him

A second Trump administration might be very different from the first, and that includes how the president treats the Fed. Donald Trump complained a lot about the US Federal Reserve when he was president, jawboning for lower interest rates and questioning its competence. Yet at the...

Police to launch raids to find migrants to deport to Rwanda, Cabinet Minister claims

Police will mount raids to find missing migrants so they can be deported to Rwanda, a Cabinet minister has said.Health Secretary Victoria Atkins was commenting on reports that the Home Office has lost contact with thousands of people who are set to be removed from the...

The French #Metoo Scandal Unraveling in Weinstein’s Shadow

French actor Gérard Depardieu was ordered to stand trial for allegedly sexually assaulting two women on a film set three years ago, marking the latest legal escalation for the 75-year-old movie star who has become a central figure in France’s #MeToo movement.The announcement coincides with a...

Hong Kong Bitcoin and Ether ETFs Have Soft Debut

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired...

Customization Overview | Halo Infinite CU32

Operation: Banished Honor arrives on April 30 and you’re gonna want to look the part! After all, the Banished welcome all who pledge their service to Atriox, and your new allegiance and mindset demands a new outfit, so let’s find out more about the customization that...

T20 World Cup 2024 Squads: From India To Australia, Check Here Team-Wise Full Players List, Venues, Fixture, Timings And More

ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Cricket Matches Full Schedule: The T20 World Cup 2024 promises to be an exhilarating showcase of cricketing talent from around the globe. With teams from various nations competing for the prestigious title, fans can expect intense matches filled with thrilling moments...

How the Twins’ summer sausage celebration got made: It sparked the offense, but should they eat it?

CHICAGO — With Abe Froman unavailable, I called sausage expert Elias Cairo to address Rocco Baldelli’s concerns about a potentially hazardous pre-encased meat currently residing in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse.Nearly a week after it arrived and with the package showing visible signs of wear, tear and...