The ongoing autoworkers’ strike against the Big Three ― General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis ― pits the United Auto Workers (UAW) against conflicting political issues. Both major presidential candidates are facing off and asking for the autoworkers’ votes.
On one hand, President Joe Biden has endorsed the union demands for a 32-hour work week from the automakers and their demand for a 40 percent wage hike. On the other hand, his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, has come out swinging in support of the autoworkers’ electric vehicle conversion complaint.
Trump: UAW Negotiations Do Not Mean Much
Trump boycotted the second GOP debate Wednesday night and opted to deliver a speech on the threat Joe Biden poses to Detroit’s auto industry.
He gave a speech at Drake Enterprises, an automotive part supplier located in the Detroit suburbs, and told the autoworkers their strike was for naught.
“Your current negotiations don’t mean as much as you think,” Trump said. “You can be loyal to American labor or you can be loyal to the environmental lunatics … But you can’t really be loyal to both. It’s one or the other.”
The UAW has warned that the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) will mean massive layoffs because fewer people are needed to build EVs than are needed to build conventional automobiles.
“The auto industry is being assassinated,” Trump said. “If you want to buy an electric car, that’s absolutely fine. I’m all for it. But we should not be forcing consumers to buy electric vehicles they don’t want to buy.”
Democrats including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer argue that switching to EVs will mean cleaner air and cleaner water even though figuring out how to dispose of their toxic batteries is a work in progress.
Such issues account for why the UAW has not endorsed Biden who likes to call himself the most pro-union president in history.
Biden Campaigns On UAW Picket Line
Biden visited Detroit on Tuesday and joined the autoworkers on the picket line.
“You deserve what you earned, and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid now,” Biden said.
Labor observers called Biden’s action “historic.”
“It is, indeed, a historic move on Biden’s part to walk a picket line — especially in as high-profile a strike that is captivating both the economy and broader public attention,” Tejasvi Nagaraja, an assistant professor of history at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School, said.
The White House had stood as a neutral player trying to negotiate a settlement in the days before the strike was announced.
UAW President Unfazed By Trump
The UAW seems to intend, however, to stay put in the Democratic Party.
“I see no point in meeting with him because I don’t think the man has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for,” UAW President Shawn Fain told CNN. “He serves a billionaire class, and that’s what’s wrong with this country.”
Fain slammed Trump for holding his speech in a non-union workplace.
“I find a pathetic irony that the former president is going to hold a rally for union members at a nonunion business,” Mr. Fain said. “I didn’t see him hold a rally.”
Fain continued, “I didn’t see him stand up at the picket line, and I sure as hell didn’t hear him comment about it. He was missing in action.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.
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