The U.S. Chamber of Commerce blamed the pro-union policies of the Biden administration for the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike, calling them partially responsible for the collapse of talks with the Big Three automakers.
Earlier this week, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein called for both parties to continue negotiations for “a win-win agreement that keeps UAW workers at the heart of our auto future."
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden continued to show an open preference toward the unions, as he campaigns to win their support in his attempt to remain in the White House.
The UAW executed its first-ever simultaneous strike against General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis over contracts terms at midnight, Sept. 15, in one of the largest strikes in its history.
Talks with the Big Three Detroit automakers collapsed after the union rejected their terms, demanding far higher pay, shorter hours, more job security, and increased benefits than the companies would offer.
A widespread strike in Detroit could cost carmakers, suppliers, and autoworkers $5 billion in financial losses over 10 days, while causing major disruptions to the auto-supply network, according to an August report by the Anderson Economic Group.
Electric Vehicle Transition Sparks UAW's MoveDetroit's transition to electric vehicles (EVs) are a major factor in the UAW strike, which has caused many union members to fear for their jobs.
"We will not let the EV industry be built on the backs of workers making poverty wages while CEOs line their pockets with government subsidies," UAW President Shawn Fain said in an op-ed.
The big automakers want a deal that would allow them to financially compete with non-unionized automakers like Tesla, which already has a cost advantage over them.
"We believe a strike lasting longer than four weeks would be a body blow to the EV ambitions of GM and Ford in first half 2024 and delay many aspects of this initial important EV push," WedBush Securities analysts said in a note.
"Tesla is the clear winner in this unfortunate situation now developing in Detroit.
Chamber of Commerce Calls White House Policies RecklessChamber President Suzanne Clark warned in a press statement on Sept. 15 that the UAW's decision to strike “will have far-reaching negative consequences for our economy, for the American workers directly employed by the Detroit Three, their suppliers and dealers, as well as the thousands of small businesses and families whose livelihoods will also be put at risk."
“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,” she added.
President Biden accused the Big Three automakers this month of not sharing the “record profits” earned in recent years and urged auto executives to accept more of the UAW's demands.
“For the 94 percent of American private sector workers not in a union, the costs are starting to stack up—from increasing consumer costs—now for new cars—to sudden loss in business for those in related industries like auto suppliers, restaurants, and caterers whose customers are now on strike,” Ms. Clark said.
The automakers would lose as combined loss of $2 billion in annual profits if they were to accept the UAW’s full demands, according to Deutsche Bank analysts.
“As we have seen in new and proposed rules, it is no wonder unions feel emboldened when they see the Biden administration declaring that unions don’t actually have to win an election to be recognized, that those in management should be muzzled if they oppose unionization, and that preference for government grants and tax credits will go to shops that are unionized," said the Chamber president.
“The Chamber urges the UAW to call off the strike and get back to the negotiating table. We will continue to stand up for American job creators and their millions of non-unionized workers and against the administration’s overly aggressive pro-union agenda,” she concluded.
Biden Calls Himself Most Pro-Labor President in HistoryPresident Biden has openly shown his outward bias toward organized labor, calling himself the "most pro-union president" in history in his attempt to win their support as he runs for reelection in 2024.
He held a campaign rally with union workers in Philadelphia in June, telling them that they would be at “the center” of a “transformation” that has “the power to transform this country for the next five decades.”
“In 10 years, America’s going to look around and say, ‘My God, look what we did. Look at the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, and all the investments,’” the President told attendees at the rally.
He also took the opportunity to slam House Republicans, claiming that they would take their jobs away from them by opposing his legislative agenda.
“Most want to get rid of it all. So we’ve got a fight on our hands and my question to you is simple, are you with me in this fight?” President Biden said.
“When Republicans come after what I’ve done … to try to get rid of all these clean energy investments, they try to stop the plan on infrastructure, they try to do these things.”
“Guess what? They’re coming for your jobs ... They’re coming for your future,” he added.
“They’re coming for the future you’re building for your kids and your grandkids.”
However, despite winning key labor endorsements, some unions like the UAW have held back from any presidential endorsements for now, despite the White House's attempts to woo them.
The Epoch Times reached out to The U.S. Chamber of Commerce for comment.