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Joe Biden Applauds Unions as Nationwide Strike Action Looms, Endangering U.S. Economy

President Biden praised unions and his administration’s efforts to create union jobs, despite a series of strikes that could harm the U.S. economy.

During a speech at a shipyard in Philadelphia, Biden expressed his commitment to being the most pro-union president in history. He believes that union workers are the best and most efficient, costing less in the long run.

However, the economy faces challenges as strikes and threatened strikes occur across various industries.

For example, Hollywood production has come to a halt due to strikes by the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild. They are demanding a larger share of streaming revenues and protection from job loss due to artificial intelligence.

Additionally, approximately 34,000 UPS workers have threatened to strike if a deal is not reached by July 31. They are advocating for air conditioning in their vehicles and better pay for weekend shifts.

If the UPS strike were to happen, it could significantly impact the economy, making it harder to deliver goods and essential supplies like medicine. Other delivery companies cannot fill the gap, potentially resulting in billions of dollars in losses.

Amidst these labor disputes, the Teamsters and the United Auto Workers (UAW) are also in contract negotiations. The UAW predicts a strike is likely as they push for union protections in new battery plants for electric vehicles.

President Biden has met with UAW representatives and the union leadership has requested to brief White House officials on their discussions with major automakers.

Although both the Teamsters and the UAW endorsed Biden in the 2020 election, they have not yet supported his 2024 reelection.

The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, acknowledged workers’ rights to strike and fair wages. However, she did not directly address whether President Biden would intervene in the potential UPS strike, expressing confidence that both sides will come to an agreement.

Biden has spent much of his week advocating for unionization in different sectors. He has engaged with workers attempting to unionize at businesses like Starbucks, minor league baseball, video game manufacturer Sega, and Blue Bird, a school bus builder.

The percentage of U.S. workers belonging to a union has significantly declined over the years. In 1983, about 20% of Americans were union members, while in 2022, only 10% were unionized.

Biden often highlights his support for unions as proof of his commitment to the middle class. Laws he has signed, such as the climate, infrastructure, and semiconductor laws, include provisions favoring union labor.

Furthermore, the American Rescue Act championed by Biden allocated billions of dollars for distressed union pension plans.

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