Prior to the onset of the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis last week, President Joe Biden was encouraging the sides to work together, and even predicted that the union ultimately wouldn’t strike – comments that drew heavy criticism from UAW President Shawn Fain. Biden later added that automakers should share profits with union members, and noted that he planned to send White House adviser Gene Sperling and Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to Detroit to help in any way they could. Fain was quick to note that the Biden Administration would not have any role in the ongoing talks with automakers, and as such, the White House canceled that planned visit. However, Biden has announced that he will instead be visiting Detroit himself this week.
Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create.
It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs.
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 22, 2023
“Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create,” Biden wrote in a post on the social media platform X. “It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs.”
Biden isn’t the only presumed 2024 presidential candidate that plans to visit Detroit, as former President Donald Trump also stated that he was also planning on meeting with union members in the same city. However, Fain also criticized that potential visit, and has been quite clear that he doesn’t want to bring politics into these ongoing discussions. “This battle is not about the president,” Fain previously stated. “It’s not about the former president or any other person prior to that. This battle is about the workers standing up for economic and social justice and getting their fair share because they’re fed up with going backwards.”
With a recent poll indicating that a little more than half of Americans support the UAW and Hollywood strikes, it’s clear that both political rivals are aiming to appeal to that group of voters. However, in the meantime, Ford is the only one of the Big Three Detroit automakers to make “significant” progress on a potential new deal, which prevented the union from taking action at additional plants this week.