The White House will no longer be sending two key officials to Detroit, Michigan, this week to support negotiations between car companies and United Auto Workers (UAW), according to NBC News.
President Joe Biden announced last week that his administration would be sending White House senior advisor Gene Sperling and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to Detroit to help resolve the UAW strike. The trip was canceled after the White House and the UAW decided it was best for the parties to speak virtually using the video-call platform Zoom, the White House told NBC News on Tuesday.
Though the officials will not travel to Detroit this week, the White House is still exploring possible options to send Sperling and Su at a following date, though no plans have officially been made, NBC News reported. (RELATED: ‘We Are Going To Go Off The Brand’: UAW Worker Rips Biden, Says ‘We Need To Change Things’)
“Acting Secretary Su and Gene Sperling have consistently engaged with the parties on the state of negotiations,” a White House official told CNN. “Given that negotiations are ongoing between the negotiating parties, it is most productive for Sperling and Su to continue their discussions from Washington and allow talks to move forward, and we’ll continue to assess travel timing based on the active state of negotiations.”
UAW announced a strike on Thursday against three of Detroit’s biggest automakers: Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (which makes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and other automobile brands). The union is pushing for a 46 percent wage increase as well as a shortened work week.
Since the announcement of the strike, Biden has come under fire for his handling of the situation, with some UAW member saying they hope he’s replaced on the 2024 ticket. While Biden takes heat for his handling of the strike, Former President Trump decided to skip the GOP Presidential Debate on Sept. 27, instead traveling to Detroit to speak with current and former UAW members.
“This battle is not about the president,” Shawn Fain, president of the UAW, told NBC News. “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.”