Biden strikes with UAW workers: ‘You deserve a hell of a lot more’

President Biden made an unprecedented stop Tuesday, joining the picket line with striking autoworkers, marking the first time a sitting president has done so.

The president stood in solidarity with United Auto Workers (UAW) at a General Motors facility in Van Buren Township, Michigan and spoke to the group via bullhorn alongside  union president Shawn Fain.

“Wall Street didn’t build the country. The middle class built the country. Unions built the middle class,” Biden told the striking workers wearing baseball cap and quarter-zip sweater.

“Let’s keep going, you deserve what you’ve earned and you deserve a hell of a lot more than what you’re getting paid now,” Biden said to cheers from the group.

He stood with workers at UAW Local 174 wearing red shirts and holding signs that read “UAW on strike” and “saving the American dream.”

“You guys, UAW, you saved the automobile industry back in 2008 and before,” he said. “You made a lot of sacrifices, gave up a lot and the companies were in trouble. Now they’re doing incredibly well. And, guess what? You should be doing incredibly well too” he said.

“Stick with it because you deserve the significant raise you need and other benefits,” he added. “Let’s get back what we lost, okay?”

Fain, as well as Garlin Gilchrist II, Michigan’s lieutenant governor, and Democratic Reps. Debbie Dingell, Shri Thaneda, and Rashida Tlaib greeted Biden at the airport.

Biden announced his decision to go to Michigan hours after hours after Fain said the union would expand its strike to include Stellantis and GM parts distribution facilities at 38 locations across 28 states.

Negotiations between the UAW and Ford, Stellantis and General Motors have been focused on pay increases, pensions and career security, and workers also have concerns about electric vehicles (EVs) and how a shift toward EVs could affect their jobs and pay.

The president has maintained that he supports workers during negotiations with the Big Three auto companies but, he had previously stopped short of saying he supports the 40 percent pay increase and 32 hour work week workers are asking for.

“This is really a historic event, historic day what the president is going to be doing,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on the ride to Michigan.

Trump is visiting Michigan on Wednesday to speak with workers and the dueling events show the significance of Michigan and the union vote in 2024. Biden won Michigan in 2020 after Trump won the state in 2016.

The UAW hasn’t endorsed Biden yet, arguing in May that it has concerns over the White House’s focus EVs.  The UAW said, however, that it wouldn’t endorse Trump.

Reporters asked Biden on Tuesday what it would take to get that endorsement.

“I’m not worried about that,” Biden said.

Click here to see original article

It’s time to consider how we can make the best of HS2 | Letters

A system built purely for speed ignores the needs of the populations it’s trying to connect, says Andrew Gore. Plus letters from David Watts, Allan Whittow and Jonathan Leeming

The rail industry always knew that the key issues for its future were capacity and connectivity, but thought that only the glamour of very high speed trains would persuade politicians (Gold-plated HS2 looks dead. So let’s run the numbers on a bronze-plated design, 22 September ). Very high speed trains require complex engineering solutions, greater construction, rolling stock and signalling costs, and have a much greater environmental impact.

The real justification for new capacity was admitted belatedly, but the design of HS2 from London to Birmingham demonstrates the deficiencies of a system built essentially for pure speed: Milton Keynes and Northampton with populations of over 250,000 ignored, no interchange with East West Rail, not even a travelator link to Birmingham New Street station – and far more damaging to the environment than merely higher speeds.

Continue reading…

Click here to see original article

Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit by FTC, 17 states

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a bipartisan coalition of 17 state attorneys general sued Amazon over violations of anticompetitive behavior on Tuesday, building on the government’s crackdown on the market power of powerful tech companies. 

The lawsuit targeting Amazon is two-fold — alleging that the e-commerce giant’s practices are anticompetitive in how it serves shoppers as well as third-party sellers on the site, according to an FTC announcement. 

The government alleges that Amazon uses anti-competitive measures that punish sellers and deter other online retailers from offering lower prices than Amazon, which keeps prices higher for consumers across the internet even off Amazon’s platform. 

FTC Chair Lina Khan called it a “one, two punch” which has “internet-wide effects” for consumers and sellers. 

The complaint does not lay out specific remedies the agency is seeking. Khan told reporters Tuesday at this stage the case is focused on seeking judgment from a court that establishes liability. 

In addition to its pricing policies, the FTC targets Amazon’s Prime subscription program by alleging that Amazon conditions seller’s ability to obtain “Prime” eligibility on sellers using Amazon’s fulfillment service. The government alleges that obligation is more expensive for sellers on Amazon to also offer their products on other platforms, and leads to limited competition against Amazon. 

The alleged anti-competitive practices lead to degraded customer service on Amazon, search results that preference Amazon’s own products over rivals, and higher fees to sellers on Amazon, according to the FTC. 

Khan said the “cumulative impact” of Amazon’s conduct is “greater than any particular element.” She said it forms a “feedback loop” in a way that amplifies an overall exclusionary effect. 

A spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment on allegations as reported by Politico and Bloomberg last week, and said the company will respond with a statement and blog post once reading through the complaint. 

The lawsuit is the latest challenge from the FTC against Amazon. In May, the agency filed two lawsuits alleging Amazon violated user privacy , through its Ring security cameras and Alexa smart speakers. Amazon pushed back on the allegations, but settled with the FTC for more than $30 million to settle the two charges. 

In June, the FTC filed a lawsuit alleging the e-commerce giant tricked users into enrolling in its Prime program and prevented them from canceling subscriptions Amazon pushed back on those allegations, as well. 


Click here to see original article

As business leaders, we support closer alignment with the EU | Letter

Paul Drechsler, Peter Norris, Naomi Pohl, Emma Degg and Juergen Maier say a policy of ‘beneficial alignment’ would reassure businesses and investors, both domestically and internationally, that the UK is committed to maintaining high standards and protections

With an election looming, business leaders across the UK will have paid close attention to recent comments in the media regarding alignment with EU standards and regulations.

In the wake of the UK’s departure from the EU and recent attempts to force divergence unilaterally in the UK, many businesses, business leaders and business organisations would welcome a policy of alignment with EU standards and regulations, unless it is explicitly not in the UK’s interests to do so.

Continue reading…

Click here to see original article