White House officials slated to travel to Detroit to engage with striking auto workers in Detroit will instead continue to engage with them from Washington, D.C., a White House official told Forbes, a development that comes as former president and leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announces his upcoming visit to striking workers.
Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior White House advisor Gene Sperling will speak to members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union on the progress of negotiations between them and the three major U.S. auto manufacturers (Ford, General Motors and Stellantis) from afar as talks persist between the union and the companies, a move the White House deems “most productive.”
This follows President Joe Biden’s Friday announcement that he would be sending the two White House officials to Detroit to intervene.
The decision to call off the visit was made “given that negotiations are ongoing between the negotiating parties,” according to the White House official, who said the Biden Administration remains involved and will “continue to assess travel timing based on the active state of negotiations,” suggesting a trip to Detroit could still be in the cards in the future.
Biden has lauded himself on being what he calls “the most pro-union president in American history” and echoed his support for striking workers. The White House official told Forbes, “The President stands with UAW workers, and believes that record corporate profits must mean record contracts for the UAW.” The announcement of Su and Sperling’s no-show comes after Trump announced he would be skipping the September 27 Republican primary debate to instead address the union workers in Detroit.
“This battle is not about the president. It’s not about the former president or any other person prior to that. This battle is about the workers standing up for economic and social justice and getting their fair share because they’re fed up with going backwards,” Shawn Fain, president of the UAW, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday.
What To Watch For
More U.S. auto workers walking off the job. Fain announced Monday that more plants will strike if what the union deems as “serious progress” on negotiations are not made by Friday.
Trump Skipping Republican Debate To Address Union Workers In Detroit (Forbes)
Biden Strongly Defends Auto Workers In First Remarks After Strike (Forbes)
‘The White House Is Afraid’: Union President Swipes At Biden Over UAW Strike (Forbes)