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By Trevor Hunnicutt
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday that he did not think workers at the nation's three large automakers were likely to go on strike, despite a looming contract deadline later this month.
"I'm not worried about a strike," the Democratic president said on Monday as he arrived in Philadelphia ahead of a speech for the U.S. Labor Day holiday. "I don't think it's going to happen."
Late last month, the United Auto Workers union said its members voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike at the Detroit Three automakers if agreement is not reached before the current four-year contract expires on Sept. 14.
A strike by the UAW is not a certainty. But the substantial wage and benefit gains that UAW President Shawn Fain has demanded, and the intensity of the campaign the union has mounted, had some Detroit industry executives and analysts bracing for walkouts in September.
* The National Labor Relations Board on Friday said it would open an investigation into UAW claims that General Motors and Chrysler parent Stellantis were not bargaining in good faith, claims that the automakers deny.
* Separately, Ford Motor said Thursday it had offered a 9% wage increase through 2027, far below the 46% wage hike being sought by the union.
* The UAW staged a 42-day strike against GM in 2019 before reaching a new contract.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; writing by Kanishka Singh; editing by Jasper Ward and Rosalba O'Brien)