White House Team Headed to Detroit 'Early This Week' to Assist in Resolving UAW Strike

Detroit, Michigan - President Joe Biden has dispatched a team aimed at aiding in the resolution of the ongoing strike involving the United States' largest autoworkers union and the prominent Big Three auto companies. According to an administration official who spoke with NBC News on Sunday, this team plans to be in Detroit to provide support for negotiations "early in the week."

The White House has tasked White House adviser Gene Sperling and Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su with facilitating discussions in Detroit to bring an end to the walkout initiated by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which commenced on Friday. Sperling has been designated as the key point of contact for issues pertaining to the union and the auto manufacturers and has been closely collaborating with Su.

The official stated, "Both Sperling and Acting Secretary Su are engaging with the parties by phone, as they have for weeks, with the intention of being there early in the week." It was emphasized that the administration is content with the fact that the involved parties have continued to meet as they did before the contract's expiration.

The primary objective of Su and Sperling is not to mediate or interfere but rather to "help support the negotiations in any way the parties feel is constructive," the official clarified.

On the matter, President Biden expressed his hope for the UAW and the Big Three to return to the negotiation table. He acknowledged the frustration felt by workers, highlighting that despite "record profits" reported by automakers, these gains have not been "shared fairly" with the workforce.

He affirmed, "Let's be clear, no one wants a strike. But I respect workers' right to use their options under the collective bargaining system."

This strike presents a significant challenge for President Biden, who has proclaimed himself as "the most pro-union president you've ever seen." Historically, the UAW has supported Democratic candidates like Biden, but former President Donald Trump garnered substantial backing from blue-collar autoworkers.

Prior to the strike's declaration, UAW President Shawn Fain emphasized that a walkout would necessitate Biden and other politicians to take a stance regarding organized labor.

The strike commenced at midnight on Friday, with approximately 13,000 UAW members participating, affecting operations at a General Motors facility in Missouri, a Stellantis center in Ohio, and a Ford assembly plant in Michigan.

It is noteworthy that if all UAW members were to participate in the strike, the union possesses sufficient funds to sustain approximately 11 weeks of strike pay.