Joe Biden and Donald Trump will talk to striking auto workers in Michigan over two consecutive days this week. This underscores how important unions are to the 2024 presidential race, even though they represent only a small fraction of US workers, Reuters reported.
Biden will join striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union later today. According to historians who study the development of labor unions, it will be the most support shown by a sitting president to striking workers in at least 100 years.
His Republican opponent and former president, Donald Trump, will address hundreds of workers at an event at an auto parts supply company in suburban Detroit tomorrow.
Biden said yesterday that the United Auto Workers union gave a lot when the auto sector was in crisis and “saved the auto industry” – an apparent reference to the massive government bailout of the industry in 2009 that included wage cuts.
“Now that the industry is recovering, they should share in the profits,” he said.
So far, the union has refused to endorse any of the 2024 presidential candidates, making it the only major union not to endorse Biden.
Union members earlier this month went on strike at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler’s parent company Stellantis, demanding wage increases match the jumps in CEO compensation, also demanding a shorter work week and job security amid the transition to electric mobility, BTA writes.
Only 10.1 percent of U.S. workers were unionized in 2022, but the organizations have enormous political influence because states where they are strong often swing Democratic to Republican and vice versa, and they have influential networks in places.