DETROIT (FOX 2) - As the United Auto Workers enter the fourth day of striking, President Joe Biden plans to send White House officials to Michigan to help with negotiations.
Workers at three plants - the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, and the GM Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri - were called to strike Friday after contracts with the Big Three automakers expired.
Biden will be sending a White House advisor and acting labor secretary Julie Su to Detroit early this week to offer support in reaching an agreement. How exactly they will help has not been specified.
The union initially was asking for a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, the tier system removed, and restoration of traditional pensions for new hires, among other demands. However, the union said it is now willing to accept a pay raise percentage in the mid-30s.
"We have a historic offer on the table, the highest in our 115-year history. Twenty percent gross wage increases over the life of the contract. When you compound those, it's 21%. Maintaining world-class healthcare. We're not changing anything," GM CEO Mary Barra said.
Biden's officials aren't the only politicians to get involved. State representatives and United States senators have been showing their support. On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders joined union members in Detroit for a solidarity rally.
"The fight you are waging here is not just about decent wages and working conditions and pensions in the automobile industry. It is a fight to take on corporate greed," Sanders said.
As more days pass without a deal, more workers could be added to the stand up strike. Currently, about 13,000 workers are striking.
Along with these employees on the picket line, 600 Ford workers at Michigan Assembly have been temporarily laid off. Ford says this is because a department that is on strike inside the plant "has directly impacted the operations in other parts of the facility."