As the United Auto Workers (UAW) union remains on strike against the Big Three automakers, former Vice President and Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence told Yahoo Finance Live the work stoppage is justified because “Bidenomics has failed to protect paychecks.”
“Wages have not been keeping up with inflation despite all the happy talk coming out of Washington D.C., and working Americans know it,” Pence said. “Now, I’ll leave it to the workers and negotiators and to the companies to sort out what changes could be made. … If I was president, I’d certainly encourage the dialogue.”
“I’m someone that believes in the right to work,” Pence added. “I believe people ought to be able to choose whether they join a union.”
Pence’s comments come as President Biden joined the picket line in Michigan on Tuesday, backing the union’s call for significant pay increases and better benefits.
“You made a lot of sacrifices, gave up a lot when the companies were in trouble,” Biden told union workers through a megaphone. “Now they’re doing incredibly well, … and you should be doing incredibly well too.”
The Big Three — General Motors (GM), Stellantis (STLA), and Ford (F) — have pushed back on the union’s demands for a 40% pay raise amid the industry’s costly transition to electric vehicles.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is largely viewed as a winner of the strike, seemed to side with his rivals, cautioning about the huge financial hit automakers would take if they were to meet the union’s demands.
They want a 40% pay raise *and* a 32 hour workweek. Sure way to drive GM, Ford and Chrysler bankrupt in the fast lane.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 26, 2023
With no immediate resolution in sight, analysts and industry pros are warning of a prolonged and widened strike.
Autoblog editor-in-chief Greg Migliore told Yahoo Finance Live that the strike could last “months” while Evercore ISI cautioned pickup trucks are likely the next target.
“If no progress is made with [the Detroit Three automakers] over the next week, we would expect both pickups to be targeted next and our base case for strike duration to move to 4-5 weeks,” Evercore analyst Chris McNally wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.
Seana Smith is an anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Smith on Twitter @SeanaNSmith. Tips on deals, mergers, activist situations, or anything else? Email email@example.com.
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