Washington (Usa), 25/09/2023.- US President Joe Biden hosts the US-Pacific Islands Forum Summit at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 25 September 2023, to gather with leaders to discuss regional priorities such as 'tackling the climate crisis' and 'advancing economic growth,' according to the White House. EFE/EPA/Yuri Gripas / POOL

Biden first US president to join protests

Washington, Sep 26 (EFE).- Joe Biden made history on Tuesday by becoming the first sitting US president to join picket lines in defense of better working conditions for automobile industry workers.

The Democratic leader, who claims to be the most pro-union of all the leaders who have occupied the White House, went to Detroit (Michigan) at the invitation of the president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Shawn Fain.

His trip precedes the one that will be made on Wednesday to Michigan by Donald Trump (2017-2021), who, with his presence there, skips the debate held at the same time in California by the Republican pre-candidates for the 2024 presidential election.

Biden arrived in Detroit around 12.00 local time and was received at the airport by Fain himself, who took over the leadership of the union earlier this year and who, for the first time in the history of the US automotive industry, has called a simultaneous strike at Ford, Stellantis and General Motors (GM) plants, known as Detroit’s Big Three.

Biden addressed the strikers with a megaphone, cap, and casual clothes: “You have made a lot of sacrifices. Now the manufacturers are doing incredibly well, and so should you,” he said to applause.

In earlier statements, he had already stressed that he was hopeful that the negotiations would come to fruition and had emphasized that employees deserve a “fair” share of the profits they helped create.

UAW began its work stoppage on September 15 at one plant at each manufacturer. Last week, they extended it to 38 other Stellantis and General Motors production sites in the face of a lack of progress in negotiations.

The union is demanding wage increases of 40% distributed over the next four years, the elimination of wage differences between workers at plants of the same companies, more significant guarantees of job security, and the recovery of the subsidies they had until 2009 to compensate for the increase in the cost of living. EFE