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Friday, 20 November 2020 17:00

GM and the UAW Meet With Biden and Harris on COVID-19 and Economy

Written by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, arrive Aug. 12 to speak at a news conference at A.I. du Pont High School in Greenville, DE. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, arrive Aug. 12 to speak at a news conference at A.I. du Pont High School in Greenville, DE. Carolyn Kaster, AP

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General Motors and the UAW met with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Nov. 16 to talk about the economy and the rise of COVID-19 cases sweeping the nation. 

The UAW told the incoming administration that there is a need for an immediate economic package to help people hard hit by the pandemic. 

 

The Biden Administration nuTransition Committee called the meeting the night before, said UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg. The virtual meeting was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. with Biden and Harris together in Wilmington, DE, a GM spokesperson said.

 

UAW President Rory Gamble characterized it as an "important" meeting. 

 

"Our nation and economy are at a crucial point right now given the rise in COVID-19 cases," Gamble said in a statement. "Today’s discussion among labor and business leaders was a productive and honest discussion of the challenges we all face in manufacturing and business to wrestle control of a very difficult situation for our economy."

 

The UAW has had productive ongoing discussions with the Detroit Three automakers about the plant protocols to keep the economy moving while making "tough decisions to protect UAW members and all working Americans."

 

"But we all expressed today to the incoming administration an acute need for an immediate economic package for those hard hit by this pandemic, help for our states and our front line providers and specifically to protect the health and safety of UAW members in the workplace," Gamble said.

 

The UAW and leaders pressed Biden for more testing, personal protective equipment and a plan for distribution of a vaccine when one is available, Gamble said. He said workers, management and government must work together to get through this pandemic and save lives.

 

Gamble said he outlined for Biden and Harris the extent to which  UAW members are working to follow protocols both inside and outside of the workplace, but said, "together we all need to be ready for the difficult yet lifesaving decisions that lay ahead.”

 

A spokesperson for Ford Motor Co. said it was not asked to join the meeting. A list of participants released by the Biden team...


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