WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan spoke with United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain Sunday regarding the strike negotiations.
"The reason we're in this situation right now is because all three of the big three companies chose to wait. They chose not to negotiate for the eight weeks we had. We started this back in July and we told them, 'Then don't wait till the last minute, or you're gonna find yourself in a bad position.' And unfortunately, they chose to wait till the last week to get down and start talking to get serious about this. And that's where we are now...If we don't get better offers and we don't get down and taking care of the member's needs, then we're gonna amp this thing up even more."Shawn Fain, UAW President
UAW has asked for a 40% pay increase. Fain reasoned this saying, "In the last four years alone, the CEO pay went up 40%. They're already millionaires, right? You know, it's shameful that...one of the corporations sitting in his second home in Acapulco while we're bargaining, rather than being at the bargaining table. And so...we're asking for our fair share in its economy and the fruits of our labor."
During the interview, Brennan and Fain talked about the auto industry transitioning more towards electric vehicles.
"Our tax dollars are financing a massive portion of this transition to EV we believe in a green economy. We have to have clean water. We have to have clean air. Anyone that doesn't believe global warming's happening isn't paying attention. But, this transition has to be a just transition and adjust. Transition means if our tax dollars are gonna finance this transition, then labor can't be left behind. And as it stands right now, the workers are being left behind the companies."Shawn Fain, UAW President
Michigan representative's response
Later in the show, Brennan interviewed Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell to ask Dingell's thoughts on the strike and the auto industry's future.
"We gotta figure out how we're gonna do this transition. How we're going to go from the transition of an eternal combustion engine and pay people who are making that battery a decent wage, similar to what they're making for ice. And they're gonna be new jobs in different jobs that are gonna come from this transition. But it's not a talking point moment. This is a real intentional hard moment," Dingell expressed.
Brennan asked Dingell what President Biden's role in the strike negotiations, with Dingell saying:
First of all, I do not believe that the president should intervene or be at the negotiating table...But you know, if anything that the pandemic has just taught us is that like who's in an office and who's working...I don't think they've got a role at the negotiating table. I think every one of us and our policy makers and other stakeholders need to understand what these issues are, what we can do to support those discussions at the table and what we need to do coming out of these to help make a strong, viable, competitive industry."