BarcelonaThe president of the United States, Joe Biden, became the first head of state of this country to join a strikers’ picket on Tuesday. Biden has traveled to Detroit – in the state of Michigan and considered the American capital of the automotive industry – where he has publicly supported the unemployed workers since September 15.
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With a megaphone, cap and casual clothes, Biden addressed the strikers: “You’ve made a lot of sacrifices. Now to them [les empreses fabricants de cotxes] they are doing incredibly well and you should go too”, he said to the ovation of the attendees.
The president has often boasted that he is the most pro-union of all those who have occupied the White House throughout history. In fact, Biden’s trip to Michigan occurred on the same day that his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, also traveled to the state, thus skipping the debate between his party’s pre-candidates.
Biden has traveled to Detroit invited by the president of the union United Auto Workers (UAW), Shawn Fain. Fain came to the head of the union organization a few months ago and has managed to organize a stoppage that began in three factories. The president had expressed hope that negotiations between the companies of the automobile industry – one of the economic pillars of the US – and the representatives of the workers would come to fruition in a short time, while demanding “fair” remuneration for the employees of the multinationals .
However, due to the lack of progress, the UAW last week extended the strike to 38 more production centers of the so-called Big Three in Detroit: General Motors, Stellantis – parent company of Peugeot, Chrysler, Fiat and Citroën , among others– and Ford. The strikers demand a 40% wage increase distributed over the next four years, the elimination of wage differences between workers on different plants of the same companies, the improvement of occupational safety measures in factories and the recovery of benefits that US auto workers had until 2009 to offset cost-of-living increases.
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