A day before Trump, Biden travels to Michigan to support the car strike

US President Joe Biden steps out of an electric Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup truck shown to him by General Motors CEO Mary Barra during a visit to the Detroit Auto Show to highlight electric vehicle manufacturing in the US in Detroit, Michigan. , 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo Get license rights

WASHINGTON/TOLEDO, Ohio, Sept 22 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Michigan on Tuesday to show support for a strike by the United Auto Workers against Detroit automakers. Against the big manufacturers.

Biden, a Democrat, considers himself a pro-union president, and his visit to the state, a day before former President Donald Trump is due there, will underscore his support for the right of unionized workers to take action and bargain collectively. .

“On Tuesday, I’ll be going to Michigan to picket and stand in solidarity with the men and women of the UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they’ve helped create,” Biden said in a post on X on Friday. The social media platform was formerly known as Twitter. “It’s time for a win-win deal that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with good-paying UAW jobs.”

Biden is running for re-election in 2024 and will face Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

A spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign called Biden’s trip to Michigan “a cheap shot.”

“The only reason Biden is going to Michigan on Tuesday is because President Trump announced he would go on Wednesday,” the Trump campaign said in a statement late Friday.

The UAW invited Biden on Friday to visit workers on its picket line and said it would expand the Detroit strike to parts distribution centers across the U.S. at General Motors ( GM.N ) and Chrysler parent Stellandis ( STLAM.MI ). The company said it has made real progress in talks with Ford Motor ( FN ).

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Jeremy Suri, a historian and presidential scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, said: “It’s very rare for a president to meet with strikers. Not even pro-labor Democratic President Jimmy Carter ever went on a picket line. “This is an opportunity for Biden to identify the presidency with striking workers instead of siding with industry. It’s going to be a big, big change.”

The UAW did not seek approval

Several unions have already endorsed Biden for re-election, but the UAW has now withheld its endorsement. Echoing the sentiments of union leaders, Biden said automakers “must go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.”

Both the Detroit Three and the UAW have a lot at stake from federal policy decisions. Automakers are counting on Washington for billions in subsidies for electric-vehicle production. They are negotiating with the Biden administration about future emissions rules, which the industry hopes should be changed for EVs.

Meanwhile, the union worries that the shift to EVs could mean job losses because these vehicles require fewer parts to produce.

Trump plans to travel to Detroit to speak at a publicized rally for auto workers as he tries to win back some blue-collar voters who defected to Biden in 2020. Leaders.

Billionaire class fight

Trump did not say whether he would visit the picketed areas. United Auto Workers president Sean Fine blasted Trump earlier in the week, saying the union was “fighting the billionaire class and fighting the economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers.”

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Suri said Theodore Roosevelt was probably the last US president to show such support for striking workers. In 1902, Roosevelt invited striking coal workers to the White House along with government officials and administration as the nation faced a coal shortage.

Ahead of the precedent-shattering meeting, Roosevelt, like Biden, found himself with little bargaining leverage.

Roosevelt complained to US Senator Henry Cabot Lodge that “there really is nothing … the national government has any power.” Review of strike On the Department of Labor website. “I’m at a loss as to how to proceed.”

The picketing workers had mixed feelings about whether to visit Biden. Some said politicians should stay out of the strike, while others said they would welcome support if the strike continues.

“Me personally, I wouldn’t mind if Biden came out and showed some support,” Laura Zielinski, 55, of Toledo, Ohio, said Tuesday, referring to Biden’s visit to the Stellandis Toledo Assembly Plant in 2010 when she was vice president. .

“That kind of support will put a spotlight on the negotiations — kind of give companies a boost.”

Thomas Morris, 60, who was picketing in suburban Philadelphia, said he applauded Biden’s support for unions and that corporations should deliver record profits to workers and consumers. He would love to see Biden join. “It will bring a lot of publicity and help the fight,” Morris said.

Reporting by Heather Timmons and Jeff Mason in Washington, Ben Clayman in Toledo, Ohio, and David Kaffen in New York; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh and Jared Renshaw in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Nick Zieminski and Alistair Bell and Timothy Gardner

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Jeff Mason is a White House correspondent for Reuters. He has covered the presidencies of Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden, as well as the presidential campaigns of Biden, Trump, Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. He served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association in 2016-2017, leading the press group in advocating for press freedom in the early days of the Trump administration. His and the WHCA’s work has been recognized by Deutsche Welle’s “Freedom of Speech Award”. Jeff has asked pointed questions of domestic and foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He is the winner of the WHCA’s “Outstanding News Coverage under Deadline Pressure” award and co-winner of the Association for Business Journalists’ “Breaking News” award. Jeff began his career in Frankfurt, Germany before being posted. Brussels, Belgium, where he covers the European Union. Jeff appears regularly on television and radio and teaches political journalism at Georgetown University. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Middle School of Journalism and a former Fulbright Scholar.

The Detroit bureau chief and North American transportation editor is responsible for a team of about 10 reporters covering everything from autos to aerospace, airlines and space. Contact:

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