Statement by UAW President Ray Curry on President Biden’s State of the Union Address


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President Biden promised to be the most pro-union President in our country’s history. Two years into his first term, he has made good on his promise time and time again.

Under his leadership, Congress passed landmark laws like the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Altogether they will create good paying jobs throughout the country, rebuild aged and crumbling infrastructure, and put our country in a position to win the jobs of the future.

Investments made by the President in American workers and manufacturers will strengthen our economy while improving our national security. Our country’s stronger when we are less dependent on foreign nations for vital products and materials.

President Biden also fought for passage of the PACT Act which significantly expanded benefits and services for veterans exposed to toxins. He put the interests of working people over Big Pharma by reigning in skyrocketing prescription drug prices and made our tax code fairer by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats and having the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share. President Biden nominated, and the Senate confirmed, dozens of judges from diverse backgrounds who understand the struggles of working people. Under his leadership, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first African American woman to serve on the Supreme Court. His groundbreaking student debt relief plan, if allowed to go forward by the courts, would significantly improve the quality of life and overall financial well-being for sixteen million Americans, including tens of thousands of UAW members and their families.

Remarkably, despite the worst pandemic in a hundred years, record high inflation throughout the globe, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and many other historic challenges, President Biden has managed to create millions of new jobs. Unemployment is now at the lowest rate since 1969 and gas prices are down sharply.

Yet as the President acknowledged, more work needs to be done. Congress should heed his call by passing the bipartisan Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act removes barriers that make it very difficult for workers to form a union and collectively bargain for better wages, improve working conditions, greater retirement security, and other benefits. Congress must also work with the President to ensure that future jobs and investments in electric vehicles, batteries and semiconductors are good middle-class union jobs. Finally, we urge the Senate to expeditiously confirm more judges who support workers’ rights, defend civil rights, and protect access to health care.

We firmly agree with President Biden that the debt ceiling needs to be increased without conditions like it was three times under President Trump. We urge the House Majority to not play Russian roulette with our future and economy. Congress must not make it harder for working people to afford lifesaving medicine and retire with dignity. The most vulnerable in our society should not be made to suffer because of misplaced priorities.

UAW stands ready to work with the Administration and Congress to build on the record of the last two years to ensure a brighter future for all.

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