UAW president: White House will have no role in negotiating agreement to end strike

United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain said Monday that the White House would not play any role in negotiating a deal to end the union’s strike against the Big Three automakers.

“Not at all. This is our battle,” Fain said when asked during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” whether he thinks the White House will have a role in negotiations.

“Our negotiating teams are working hard. Our members are out there manning the picket lines, and our allies are out there with us,” Fain continued. “This battle is not about the president. It’s not about the former president, or any other person prior to that. This battle is about the workers standing up for economic and social justice and getting their fair share because they’re fed up with going backwards.”

Fain’s comments come after President Biden said Friday that he would direct acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior aide Gene Sperling to Detroit to help broker a “win-win” contract for the automakers — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis — and their employees. 

UAW members are in their fourth day of striking as negotiators continue their ongoing efforts to find a deal. 

In the interview on MSNBC on Monday, when asked what it’s going to take to get a deal, Fain stressed the importance of addressing the wage tier system, pay rates and the cost of living allowance, among other priorities.

Fain also continued to cast blame on the auto companies for not acting more quickly to take the union’s demands seriously at the negotiating table. 

“There’s a lot of things that need to be worked out, and we have been at the table every day 24/7 for the last eight weeks. It’s a shame, again, the company’s waited until the last week to start getting serious about talking about this,” Fain said. “They wasted a lot of time. We told them up front: Don’t do that. We told them up front. We expect to deal with these things early and often. And they chose not to do that.”

“They chose to be in this position. And that’s why we find ourselves where we are right now,” he added.

Tags Gene Sperling Joe Biden Shawn Fain UAW strike