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UAW strikes in Michigan news summary | 27 September 2023

Update:
U.S. President Joe Biden joins striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) on the picket line outside the GM's Willow Run Distribution Center, in Belleville, Wayne County, Michigan, U.S., September 26, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

US Business News: Latest Update

That's a wrap for Wednesday 27 September...

Avoiding yet another Republican debate, Donald Trump made a campaign stop in Michigan to speak with current and former auto workers on Wednesday night. The visit from Donald Trump follows President Biden's visit to a UAW picket line, a historic first for a modern president. Donald Trump, on the other hand, spoke at a non-union business, a choice which received backlash from UAW President Shawn Fain. The speech hosted by Drake Enterprise was full of controversial remarks, with Trump notably pinning the environmental movement against the US labor movement, saying loyalty to both was impossible. While the former president touted his work to save auto manufacturing jobs from being shipped overseas, Trump warned that while the UAW was striking for better wages, they needed to be careful because their jobs may only be around for a few more years. This talking point neglects that part of the demands being made by UAW members center on protections to fight against outsourcing. 

The UAW strike has entered its third week, and progress fails to be made in negotiations between the Big Three auto companies (Ford, GM, and Stellantis), union leadership has made clear that more locals will be called upon to strike

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I find a pathetic irony that the former president is going to a rally for union members at a non-union business. I see no point in meeting with him because I don't think the man has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for. He's the billionaire class and that's what's wrong with our country.

Shawn Fain, UAW President

Donald Trump takes the stage

The former president is now speaking at the rally in Michigan.

“I will not allow under any circumstances the American automobile industry to die,” he said at a non-unionised plant.

“He’s selling you out to China, he’s selling you out to the environmental extremists and the radical left,” Trump told his crowd, flanked by American flags and pallets of auto parts.

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Trump says "great crowd" waiting for him in Michigan

A view of the crowd gathered to hear Trump speak.

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Trump arrives in Michigan ahead of rally

Trump is on his way to a non-union auto part plant to "support" the United Auto Workers union. He will give a stump speech at 8 pm ET instead of attending the 2nd Republican debate.

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Striking UAW members react to Trump visit to Michigan for rally at non-union auto plant

The United Auto Workers union began a strike on 15 September shutting down one assembly plant at each of the Detroit Three automotive facilities. Last week, it expanded to 38 parts distribution centers at GM and Stellantis, but maintained its Ford walkout to a single plant due to progress in the negotiations.

Union leadership says that it will announce further work stoppages on Friday if there is no serious progress in labor negotiations. Trump is due to stump at an auto part plant in Michigan on Wednesday evening to show solidarity with the union. One catch, Trump's going to a non-union company. That and his record on supporting unions while in the White House don't have the union members amused.

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Coming to Michigan to speak at a nonunion employer and pretending it has anything to do with our fight at the Big Three is just more verbal diarrhea from the former president.

Mike Booth, UAW Vice President for General Motors, From an email sent to Detroit Free Press

UAW president sees "no point" in meeting with Trump

Donald Trump plans to visit Michigan on Wednesday to show solidarity with the UAW workers striking, albeit at a non-union auto manufacturing plant. The president of the United Autoworkers says that he will not meet with Trump, who was "missing in action" in 2019 when the union was on strike and the former president occupied the White House.

His reasoning for snubbing Trump goes beyond holding his rally at a non-union company, including the GOP frontrunner blaming UAW workers' contracts for everything wrong at the auto companies in 2008, and in 2015 suggesting that the manufacturers move jobs out of the Midwest to the South to states without unions.

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Biden puts out campaign ad attacking Trump on union-backing bonafides

Joe Biden became the first US president to join a picket line on Tuesday when he joined UAW autoworkers striking against the Big 3. On Wednesday, former president Trump is due to visit a auto manufacturing plant as well to hold a rally. However, the plant he is visiting is a non-union one.

President Biden put out an ad this week to point out the union-backing, or non-backing in the case of Trump, differences between to two potential candidates in the 2024 race for the White House.

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How will the UAW strike impact car prices?

For the first time in the history of the United Auto Workers, members are on strike against the Big 3 automotive companies: Ford, GM, and Stellantis. The union is taking a non-traditional approach to its strike, calling on specific local chapters at certain production sites to strike. UAW President Shawn Fain has made clear that if the company continues to stall, more chapters will be called on to participate in the work stoppage. Automotive executives have started running to corporate media outlets to invalidate the demands being made by the UAW, which include a forty-percent pay increase over the next four years and a transition to a four-day workweek.

The CEOs at the three companies have seen their pay increase forty percent over the last four years. The union argues that if executives have earned such high raises, then the workers who generate those profits deserve similar pay increases.

Read our full coverage for details on how the standoff could impact car prices. 

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UAW strike: The car production that will be most affected

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike is set to halt production of some of the most popular cars sold in the US. While no new vehicles will be produced, the companies affected, Ford, GM, and Stellantis, turned up production in the run up to the strike.

According to data from Cox Automotive’s analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data, the total inventory of available vehicles stands at 2.06 million units, the equivalent of 58 days of supply. This number is up 46% from a year ago.

So if you are looking to get one of the affected cars from the following lists, it is likely that they will go up in price as supply dwindles. The last UAW strike lasted six weeks before GM gave in and accepted the workers’ demands. This would line up with the inventory these companies have, making it likely that there will be a similar timeframe.

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What is happening in Michigan, who has visited the the UAW strike picket line and what are their demands?

The great state of Michigan has long been seen as the center of the US auto industry. The birthplace of Ford and General Motors, the auto industry has shaped the state’s culture, with the United Auto Workers, the union representing many of those employed by these companies, playing a significant role in that effort.

The UAW came under new leadership in March 2023, with members electing Shawn Fain as UAW President. Fain channeled the frustration of many members who believed that the union had used its political power in their name to curry favors with government officials and private sector executives. The dealings of the former UAW leadership landed two former presidents and two former vice presidents in prison on charges related to corruption and racketeering by the US Department of Justice.

Many UAW members saw the election of Shawn Fain as a new page in the union’s history. The theory that change was coming would be proven true earlier this month when the UAW announced it would be striking the ‘Big Three’ US auto manufacturers, Ford, GM, and Stellantis. Now, workers across the country, including Michigan, are on strike, demanding improved pay and better working conditions for both union and non-union workers.

Read our full coverage for details on who has visited the picket line and what UAW members are demanding. 

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UAW Strike: will Donald Trump support auto workers protests in Michigan?

Donald Trump, the current front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, will travel to Michigan on Wednesday to meet with current and retired autoworkers. However, unlike President Biden, who walked the picket line with United Auto Workers (UAW) members, Trump will speak with a different crowd.

Read more in our full coverage on how Donald Trump's visit differs from that of President Biden. 

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President Biden makes speech from a UAW picket line

Presidnet Biden made history earlier this week when he became the first modern president to join striking workers on a picket line. UAW members were happy to see the president show solidarity with their cause and call out companies that have not adequately shared their profits with their workers. The president mentioned that he stood with UAW workers as an elected official in 1973 as a senator. 

The UAW endorsed then-candidate Biden in April 2020 but has yet to endorse him for his 2024 run. UAW President Shawn Fain had made it clear that support from the UAW would require the President Biden to show solidarity with his members and their cause. 

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Hello and welcome to AS USA's live feed on business and finance news. 

We'll be bring you on all the financial news affecting US consumers from inflation and the Federal Reserves efforts to lower it to labor strikes and rising energy prices.

As well as updates on government programs to provide financial relief to Americans and how a government shutdown could effect them.

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