According to historians, President Biden’s arrival to the UAW’s picket line in Michigan is historic, as presidents have avoided picket lines.
The U.S. Secret Service does not like the unpredictable nature of the picket line and its difficulty to control. Most presidents also do not want to interfere and be perceived as taking sides in a labor dispute between workers and corporations, but Biden openly has supported the UAW.
Presidents, including Biden, are not welcome at the bargaining table, but it’s clearly a sign that the government expects automakers to do the right thing by their workers now that the companies are so incredibly profitable.
Biden’s decision to stand along the United Auto Workers on the picket line comes on the 12th day of a major strike against three carmakers, General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. As of early this week, 18,600 of the UAW’s 146,000 autoworkers were out on strike at 41 various facilities.
An August 1-23 Gallup poll showed 75% of 1,000 people polled were supportive of the UAW members, and 67% were supportive of unions overall.
Biden will pass the political football to Trump, who plans to visit Drake Automotive, a non-union supplier, in Michigan on Wednesday. Trump will meet with current and former union members, and is expected to tell them that Biden’s shift to EV’s will cost them jobs.
One of Trump’s supporters is Rene LaCross, 39, who has worked for GM since 2020, and says he works paycheck to paycheck. Trump’s visit is welcome news to LaCross, who has been wondering when “the Republican side was going to start standing up and speaking out and supporting the UAW. Whatever capacity he’s able to support and stand up for the working class at the level that he has is going to be tremendous.”
He’s hoping Trump “calls out” automaker executives and tells them: “Give the people that are giving them their wealth the fair share of being able to provide for their families and have great lifestyles. Because once we are able to do that, then the people in our community that we support, the local businesses, are going to be able to thrive and strive.”Detroit News