US President Joe Biden assured striking auto unions of his solidarity during a site visit to Detroit. “You made a lot of sacrifices when companies were struggling,” Biden said with a megaphone to the several dozen protesters. “Now they’re doing incredibly well and – imagine – you should be doing incredibly well too.”

As the presidential election campaign begins next year, Biden repeatedly emphasizes that he is the most union-friendly president of all time. “Wall Street didn’t create this country. The middle class created this country. And unions created the middle class,” Biden said in the state of Michigan. Detroit is considered the center of auto manufacturing in the United States. The open expression of solidarity by a president at a local picket line is considered historically unique. Traditionally, unions in the USA are weaker than in Germany.

The UAW union, which has around 150,000 members, recently demanded a 36 percent increase in income over four years in negotiations before the strikes began in mid-September. The original demand was 40 percent – because the income of the top management of the large car companies had grown by this amount. The car manufacturers were prepared for increases of up to 20 percent over a period of four and a half years.