UAW president, Bob King, has welcomed plans by the US government to raise the federal minimum wage from US$7.25 to US$9 per hour.

US President, Barack Obama, made the minimum wage announcement during last night's (12 February) State of the Union address to Congress in Washington DC, which could see auto workers benefiting from the salary hike.

"President Obama's address outlined a comprehensive blueprint that focused on rebuilding the foundation of the American economy - working people who need good jobs to keep our economy strong," said King.

"The President's proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from US$7.25 to US$9 an hour over the next three years is an important step in helping workers, many whom have to work several part-time jobs and still can barely afford to keep a roof over their heads."

King also praised the President's US$1bn plan to create private-public sector 'manufacturing institutes' to help prepare workers for new jobs.

President Obama also called for a US$40bn investment in US infrastructure, including road and bridge improvements, and to establish an energy security trust to research cleaner fuels for vehicles.

"The UAW stands by President Obama and his initiatives to support workers, the jobs of tomorrow and the necessary steps to create a sustainable future for all Americans," said King.

"We now ask that Congress pledge to work with our President to strengthen the nation's economy."