Biden to travel to Michigan to ‘join the picket line’ with UAW workers on strike

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event announcing a new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, September 22, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden will visit Michigan on Tuesday “to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW,” he said Friday.

Biden said the workers were in a “fight for a fair share of the value they helped create.” The president’s decision to head to Michigan comes after UAW boss Shawn Fain invited Biden to join the striking autoworkers.

Biden’s hastily arranged trip to Michigan will occur only 24 hours before former President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive in the state to show his own solidarity with the auto workers.

The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination announced this week that he planned to skip Wednesday’s GOP primary debate in California, in order to visit Detroit and give a speech to UAW members.

Biden sided with the autoworkers last Friday when the UAW initially targeted three key plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.

Record profits at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis “have not been shared fairly, in my view, with the workers,” Biden said during a brief address last Friday.

The strike has since expanded with Fain making good on his promise to target additional plants if progress was not made in negotiations with the automakers.

The union boss announced on Friday workers would strike at every parts and distribution facility run by General Motors and Stellantis. The walkout will hit 38 locations across 20 states in nine regions, Fain said during a Facebook Live stream.

The union spared Ford because the company demonstrated it was serious about reaching an agreement, Fain said.

Biden often campaigns on his middle class upbringing and has declared himself the most pro-union president in American history. He is running for a second term in office next year and may need to win Michigan, a heavily unionized swing state that is the traditional heart of the U.S. auto industry.

Unlike Biden, however, Trump will not be there to support the entire strike effort. Instead, he aims to drive a wedge between striking UAW workers and union leaders like Fain.

The autoworkers are being sold down the river by their leadership,” he told NBC News in an interview that aired Sunday. “Their leadership should endorse Trump.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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