The union representing thousands of American autoworkers has filed a grievance against Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina after he suggested resolving the ongoing strike against the country's Big Three through layoffs.
Asked about his approach to labor talks in the United Auto Workers strike during a campaign stop in Iowa this week, Mr. Scott, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2024, told voters: “Ronald Reagan set a great example for us as federal workers given.” decided that they would strike.”
The former Republican president fired thousands of striking air traffic controllers in 1981.
“He said, ‘If you hit out, you're fired.' A simple concept for me. To the extent that we can definitely use it again,” Mr Scott said.
A complaint filed Sept. 21 with the National Labor Relations Board alleges his comments unlawfully interfered with workers' rights to participate in union activities.
“Tim Scott threatened employees with negative consequences if they engaged in protected, concerted activity by publicly responding to a question about striking workers with, ‘If you strike, you will be fired,'” the UAW complaint states -President Shawn Fain.
“Just another example of the employing class abusing the working class in America. Employers intentionally violate labor law without any repercussions.” Mr. Fain wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Time for stricter laws to protect workers’ rights!!”
Mr. Scott later explained his statements at an event in New Hampshire.
“Of course the president doesn't fire people in the private sector, but he can do that in the public sector,” Scott said Wednesday. “I brought up the Ronald Reagan years because I think we need to focus on the example of a president who was strong, and today's president is weak.”
Thousands of UAW workers launched simultaneous strikes at midnight on September 14 at three plants owned by Ford, General Motors and Stellantis-owned Chrysler.
On September 22, the union – which represents nearly 150,000 workers – announced an expansion of the strike to include 38 parts and distribution locations in 20 states.
When it comes to negotiations over wages, benefits, work schedules and other issues, union officials and automobile companies remain far apart. Executives are calling for a 36 percent pay increase over four years to match the growth in executive pay, as well as a 32-hour work week, a return to traditional pensions, the elimination of pay tiers and a restoration of annual and automatic cost- Living Adjustments and Other Benefits.
President Joe Biden, who announced his support for striking workers last week, has faced some pressure from Michigan elected officials, Democratic congressmen and union organizers to join the picket lines to rally support for organized labor from the self-proclaimed “professionals.” demonstrate -Union” President.
“I really appreciate that the parties have been working around the clock,” Mr. Biden said in brief remarks from the White House last week. “But I believe they should go further to ensure that record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW. I’ll say it again: record corporate profits – those they have – should be shared by record contracts for the UAW.”