By JOSH BOAK
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is asking the major U.S. automakers and their workers’ union to reach an agreement that takes “every possible step to avoid painful plant closings” as the sector transitions to electric vehicles. He said in a Monday statement that the transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles should not hurt existing workers. The president has not yet been endorsed by the United Auto Workers as he seeks reelection. But he has broad support from organized labor going into the 2024 campaign. The UAW represents 146,000 workers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which are commonly known as the big three automakers. The workers’ contracts expire at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 14.