US President Joe Biden said that no one wants the United Auto Workers union to go on strike in the labor dispute with the three major US automakers, but workers should get a share of the profits made by these companies.
"Nobody wants a strike, but I respect workers' right under the collective bargaining system," Biden told reporters at the White House.
The United Automobile Workers of the United States (UAW) began striking over wages and job security at three legacy automakers in Detroit.
Workers began leaving the Ford Motor Michigan plant on Friday, which produces the Bronco SUV, the General Motors plant in Missouri, which produces the Chevy Colorado midsize pickup, and the Stellantis NV plant in Toledo, Ohio, where the Jeep Wrangler is produced.
After weeks of talks, the union and automakers are still far apart. The strategy was designed to steadily reduce production of profitable vehicles while minimizing the impact on the UAW's strike fund. The union said it would add picket sites depending on how bargaining goes.
"Tonight, for the first time in our history, we will strike all three of the Big Three at the same time," UAW President Shawn Fain said late Thursday. "This strategy will keep companies guessing. This will give our national negotiators maximum power and flexibility in bargaining. And if we have to go all the way, "We will do this. Everything is on the table," he said.