Michigan Democrats Urge Biden to Defeat Trump at UAW Picket Line

President Biden is coming under pressure from some Democratic lawmakers to do what none of his predecessors did: picket with striking workers.

With the United Auto Workers on strike against the nation’s three largest automakers, many Democrats in Michigan and across the country are worried about Biden’s challenger in next year’s election. By making his own visit to the strike area Vol.

Trump plans to rally union workers, including auto workers, in Detroit next week during the next GOP primary debate, though it’s unclear if he’ll be on the picket line, a person familiar with campaign planning said on the situation. Anonymity to describe projects.

Why UAW Workers Say They’re On Strike

Democrats want Biden to underscore the parties’ differences on labor issues.

“It would send a very strong message that Democrats stand up for working people — I think Biden needs to show up, and show up soon,” said Michigan state Rep. Mike McFall, a first-term Democrat who covers part of Detroit. “I’m very concerned about the emergence of Trump and what that will mean for our party in November.”

Biden praised the UAW’s targeted strike against Detroit’s Big Three manufacturers, and on Friday called on the General Motors, Ford and Stellandis unions to improve their wage proposals. Aides to the president believe he is already pro-labor with a number of executive orders and legislation aimed at improving labor outcomes. Still, the labor action poses a political conundrum for the president, who must figure out how far to stand with UAW workers.

The White House declined to comment when asked if Biden would visit the picket line. But in an interview with The Washington Post, half a dozen Democrats in Congress and the Michigan state legislature said he should go. UAW leadership also said the White House would welcome the president’s visit, although it did not extend a formal invitation, according to two people with knowledge of internal discussions and a UAW official, all three of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. To describe personal conversations.

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“I know the UAW family would love to have the most powerful person in the world — the President of the United States — come and hold a sign in solidarity with them. But I hope he does it in a way that he actually sits down and has a roundtable with some of the key people and hears how hard it has been,” he said. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said, “Of course, the president’s visit will be very important. But people want those who are advocating for them and demanding economic justice for them and their families — to come in solidarity.

While Biden backs striking auto workers, Trump attacks union leader

Several members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (DNY) and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and John Fetterman (D-Pa.), have been on UAW picketing since the strike began at midnight Friday. .

Representative. Roe Khanna (D-Calif.), who Co-authored an op-ed UAW President Sean Fein, who joined the strike on Monday with striking workers in Michigan and Ohio, said in a statement: “Having been a pro-union president for decades, President Biden is good to go.”

Asked about calls for Biden to join the picket line, White House press secretary Robin Patterson pointed to the president’s previous statements in support of the union. On Friday, Biden echoed the UAW’s comments that automakers “must go further to ensure that corporate profits are record deals.” Biden has appointed staunch labor allies to the National Labor Relations Board and the federal Judiciary, and provisions of the 2021 Act, backed by Biden, gave workers more bargaining power and increased unionization efforts across the country.

“There is no doubt that the president stands with the UAW workers,” Patterson said via email. “His statement on Friday made that clear.”

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Still, Trump’s visit to appeal to blue-collar workers could complicate the White House’s political calculus. The former president has eroded labor support for Democrats in the Rust Belt and may try to make further gains ahead of the 2024 election. Trump’s trip to Detroit is planned First reported By The New York Times on Monday.

In terms of policy, experts agree, Biden has undoubtedly done more to support unions. Trump enacted several policies hated by organized labor, weakening the NLRB and approving legislation focused on lower corporate taxes. Trump has publicly sparred with Fein, mocking the union leader and urging union members not to pay dues. A Interview with NBC News It aired Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Trump said auto workers were “sold down the river by their leadership, and their leadership should support Trump.” Post in the True CommunityHe owns a social media network.

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Some Michigan Democrats expressed caution about the idea that Trump might visit the picket line before Biden.

“It’s going to get a bunch of news and free media for Trump. We don’t need that,” said state Rep. Donavan McKinney, who called the prospect “terrible.”

“President Biden can take the story and show that the administration and Democrats as a whole support unions and a very large base of the working class,” McKinney said. Is Biden here?”

State Rep. Jason Morgan added: “I’d love to see Biden visit the picket line here in Michigan … There’s tremendous support for our unions today, and there’s no reason not to join our workers in demanding better wages and better working conditions.”

Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who worked for Biden, said the poll shows young and especially black voters support the UAW and that Biden needs both to win Michigan in 2024.

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“Voters are very pro-strike and very pro-organization — they really agree with the basic premise that CEOs are hoarding money and saving prosperity,” Lake said. “I think it’s a great idea for him to go.”

Not all Democrats think Biden should rush.

James Blanchard, a Democratic governor of Michigan from 1983 to 1991, said Biden has made his stance on the UAW strike “very clear” and that the walkout would set a precedent, and the president is expected to follow more. .

“I’m not sure the president wants to hold a picket — you start one and you have to do the rest. He’s weighing in very strongly for the UAW workers,” Blanchard said.

As the UAW strike winds down, Biden faces a ‘win-win’ test

Some conservatives also balked at the prospect of taking the president’s side. Traditionally, presidents have tried to play neutral mediator whenever possible. (Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University, said Biden would be the first president to join a sit-in in a century.)

“You’re putting the full weight of the federal government on one side of a private dispute, and that’s not usually done because we have a fair view of the country and you’re not putting your thumb on the scale,” Doug said. Holtz-Eakin, GOP policy analyst. “So far people have lost sight of boundaries. I think this is really wrong.

Still, some workers said they welcomed Biden.

Sharifia Fambrough, a 52-year-old striking worker at a Ford plant in Wayne, Mich., who earns $19.10 an hour, said she hoped Biden would picket “to show his solidarity with the UAW.” Fambrough, who installs fascia on Bronco vehicles, said he hopes it will help raise the workers’ motivation to “show that he knows what we’re doing.”

Lauren Corey Gurley contributed to this report.

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