Two top White House officials previously expected to travel to Detroit will remain in Washington, D.C., to engage with auto companies and union leadership amid an ongoing strike.
President Biden last week announced acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior adviser Gene Sperling would be dispatched to Detroit to offer support as the United Auto Workers and auto companies sought to broker a deal.
But a White House official confirmed on Tuesday that was no longer the case as the administration monitors the state of talks between the two sides.
“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,” a White House official said in a statement.
“The President stands with UAW workers, and believes that record corporate profits must mean record contracts for the UAW,” the official added.
Auto workers represented by the UAW went on strike at a small number of factories last week after the union failed to reach a deal with General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.
The union is asking for increased pay and benefits. Also at issue is the fate of union workers as auto companies increasingly transition toward manufacturing electric vehicles.
Biden has touted himself as the most pro-union president in history, but he has also supported increased incentives for electric vehicles as part of his climate agenda.
“Let’s be clear: No one wants a strike,” Biden said in remarks last week. “But I respect workers’ right to use their options under the collective bargaining system. And I understand the workers’ frustration.”