President Joe Biden became the first president in history Tuesday to stand alongside striking union workers on the picket line.
He joined the United Auto Workers picket line in Wayne County, Michigan, 12 days into the strike against the country’s three largest automobile manufacturers.
Biden has long touted himself as the “most pro-union” president in U.S. history. On Tuesday, he put those words into action by walking the picket with UAW members striking against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, which makes Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles.
“You’ve made a lot of sacrifices. You gave up a lot and the companies were in trouble,” Biden said to the workers using a megaphone. “Now they’re doing incredibly well and you should be doing incredibly well, too.”
The companies know how to make this right,” Fain told CBN News in a recent interview. “The public is on our side, and the members of the UAW are ready to stand up.”
The union has expanded the strike to more than 20 states as members demand a 40% increase in wages, stronger benefits, and a four-day, 32-hour work week.
“Nobody wants to be out here, we want to be working, we want to be getting parts to our customers and dealers, but it comes to a point where you have to draw a line in the sand,” said Steve Frisque, president of UAM Local 722.
Last year, the CEOs of Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis earned between $21 to $29 million or about 300 times the average employee salary, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“It seems a little out of balance,” Patrick Penfield, professor of Supply Chain Practice at Syracuse University, told CBN News.
“I do also think that you know they’re making so much more cars from a profitability standpoint that it probably is time, you know, to be able to compensate the workers fairly, you know, for their efforts,” he said.
Penfield told CBN News he believes the UAW demands are warranted and thinks the workers have the upper hand given an $825 million strike fund that could support the workers for weeks.
“I don’t think they’ll get everything, but I do think they’re going to get a good majority of it. Because I think the automobile companies, it’s a no-win situation for them,” continued Penfield. “They need to produce more cars and that’s because just of all the pent-up sales that they have from a demand standpoint.”
Former President Donald Trump plans to address union workers in Michigan on Wednesday, skipping that night’s GOP primary debate in California. In Detroit, he will deliver a prime-time speech to current and former union members, including members of the UAW.