Former U.S. President Barack Obama recently shared his thoughts on the current tension between the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) and the top three car manufacturers in the U.S.
“More than a decade ago, when major auto companies faced financial challenges, both my government and the citizens offered their assistance. The dedicated members of the UAW too made significant sacrifices in terms of pay and benefits to help these firms regain stability,” Obama mentioned in a recent post on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.
“As these automotive giants now experience strong profit margins, it’s crucial to recognize and reward the very workers who contributed to this success, ensuring a more cohesive and competitive industry,” commented the former president.
This statement from Obama comes in the wake of massive walkouts by workers in three states, following stalled discussions between the UAW and the leading manufacturers – Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis. The labor agreement that lasted four years between the union and these manufacturers ended last Thursday night. Currently, about 13,000 UAW members are protesting at three different facilities: a General Motors site in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford establishment in Wayne, Michigan; and a Stellantis Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio.
During Obama’s presidency, UAW employees took comparable steps against their companies. Back in 2007, he expressed his support for the 73,000 UAW members striking against General Motors and asserted his endorsement of the union’s cause.
Obama had remarked back then, “The concerns raised by the union, like job stability and the health benefits they were assured, are fundamentals that every worker should anticipate and which UAW members rightly demand. It’s imperative for General Motors to re-enter negotiations, so these workers can resume their duties.”
Current discussions between the UAW and the car manufacturers are ongoing, as per a Reuters report. The news agency also indicated that Stellantis has enhanced its proposal, suggesting a cumulative raise of approximately 21 percent over a span of four and a half years, including an immediate 10 percent wage surge. Concurrently, both GM and Ford have put forth a wage hike of 20 percent over the same timeframe.