Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House senior adviser Gene Sperling are no longer deploying to Detroit this week, a White House official said, and instead will engage with United Auto Workers leadership and the automakers from Washington, DC.
Sperling and Su had previously planned on traveling to Detroit “early in the week” at President Joe Biden’s direction to “offer their full support for the parties in reaching a contract.” The White House had described their role as supportive, not an intervening one.
“Acting Secretary Su and Gene Sperling have consistently engaged with the parties on the state of negotiations. 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,” the official said.
“The president stands with UAW workers, and believes that record corporate profits must mean record contracts for the UAW,” the official said, echoing the president’s statement from Friday.
UAW President Shawn Fain in recent days has said he doesn’t see the president’s team as being key to brokering an agreement between the labor union and automakers.
“Not at all. This is our battle,” Fain said on MSNBC on Monday. “First off our negotiating teams are working hard. Our members are out there manning the picket lines and our allies are out there with us. You know, this battle is not about the president. 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.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated.