Former President Donald Trump wants to join the United Auto Workers picket line. The union president isn’t having it.
On Monday, the New York Times reported Trump plans to travel to Detroit to meet auto workers rather than attend the second Republican presidential debate. In response, UAW President Shawn Fain blasted Trump as an example of the corporate greed the union is fighting against.
“Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” Fain said. “We can’t keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don’t have any understanding what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by and expecting them to solve the problems of the working class.”
The Biden-Harris 2024 campaign weighed in with a similar statement, saying Trump abandoned union workers while president and stood with “his ultra-rich friends.”
“Donald Trump is going to Michigan next week to lie to Michigan workers and pretend he didn’t spend his entire failed presidency selling them out at every turn. Instead of standing with workers, Trump cut taxes for the super-wealthy while auto companies shuttered their doors and shipped American jobs overseas. He’s said he would’ve let auto companies go bankrupt, devastating the industry and upending millions of lives,” spokesperson Ammar Moussa said in a statement.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 marks the fifth day of the UAW strike against all three Detroit automakers — a union first. Throughout the process Fain has called on politicians to stand up with union members and push back on corporate greed, a key talking point in this year’s negotiations.
Biden announced in a livestream Friday, Sept. 15, Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House Senior Adviser Gene Sperling will head to Detroit “to offer their full support” for the parties in reaching an agreement.
Biden, who became Vice President shortly after the auto bailouts were approved by former President George W. Bush, did give a nod of support to union workers during the livestream.
“I understand the workers’ frustration. Over generations autoworkers have scarified so much to keep industry alive and strong, especially through the economic crisis and the pandemic. Workers deserve a fair share of the benefits they help create for an enterprise,” Biden said.
Michigan Democrats Gov. Gretchen Whiter, U.S. Rep Debbie Dingell and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib joined Sen. Bernie Sanders during a UAW rally on Friday, marking the first day of the strike.
Fain put the Big Three on notice that the UAW will select more strike targets if a deal is not met by noon on Friday, Sept. 22.