Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), made it clear that he does not approve of former President Trump’s trip to Detroit next week amid the union’s ongoing strike against the Big Three automakers.
“With every fiber of our union we fight against the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement to CNN.
The Hill has reached out to Fain and UAW.
As workers continue to stand on the picket lines demanding wage increases and benefits from Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, Trump will give a prime-time speech to current and former union members in Detroit instead of attending the second Republican presidential debate on September 27.
Trump, who narrowly won Michigan in 2016 but lost the state in 2020, could try to appeal to union members, a key electoral blocker for President Biden and Democrats. But Fain said the UAW’s message stands in direct contrast to who Trump is and what he represents.
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Union members have long been considered the most important cog of the Democratic base, but polls from the last presidential election suggest that these voters may be changing their loyalties.
According to a CNN exit poll, while Biden received the most votes from union households (56 percent) compared to 40 percent for Trump, Trump won the support of workers without college degrees in 2016 and 2020 by 7 and 8 percentage points, respectively, according to the Pew Research Center .
Biden has repeatedly claimed he is the most pro-union president, but Fain has not yet endorsed the president, saying last week that support must be earned and members need to see “actions not words” from Biden.
“Our support will be deserved. We made that very clear, no matter the politician.”
Fain’s decision not to support Biden stems from concerns about federal electric vehicle (EV) policy. The Biden administration is pushing for an industry shift to electric vehicles, which require fewer workers to produce, and there are concerns about how such a transition could affect workers’ jobs and pay.
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