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Biden to address UAW strike

President Biden is addressing the decision by the United Auto Workers union to strike, after about 13,000 autoworkers walked off the job at midnight Friday. 

Mr. Biden, a fierce union advocate, is expected to speak Friday morning from the White House Roosevelt Room. 

The strike began after union leaders were unable to reach an agreement on a new contract with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. UAW workers want a four-day, 32-hour work week, for the pay of a five-day, 40-hour week, as well as substantial pay raises. They also want more paid time off and pension benefits, instead of 401K savings plans, among other demands. 

This is the first time in UAW history that workers are striking at all three companies at once, UAW President Shawn Fain said in a Facebook Live address late Thursday night.

Mr. Biden spoke with UAW leaders in the days leading up to the strike. Asked on Labor Day if he was worried about a UAW strike, Mr. Biden responded, “No, I’m not worried about a strike until it happens.” 

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Mr. Biden said at the time. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, says Mr. Biden bears part of the blame for the UAW strike. 

“The UAW strike and indeed the ‘summer of strikes’ is the natural result of the Biden administration’s ‘whole of government’ approach to promoting unionization at all costs,” Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Suzanne P. Clark said Friday. 

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