President Joe Biden made an unprecedented visit to a picket line in support of striking auto workers in Michigan. Wearing a union ballcap and exchanging fist bumps with the United Auto Workers (UAW) strikers, Biden encouraged them to continue fighting for better wages. He stated that the workers deserved the significant raise they were demanding and criticized auto companies for not meeting union demands. The visit marked a significant demonstration of Biden’s pro-union stance and his willingness to cultivate union support.
Despite concerns about the impact of the strike on the economy, Biden stood with the workers and emphasized the importance of their fight for better wages. He acknowledged the sacrifices made by the UAW in 2008 to save the automobile industry and argued that now, when car companies are doing well, the workers should be doing well too. Trump criticized Biden’s visit as a PR stunt, but Biden’s show of support for organized labor is a key part of his campaign strategy, particularly in critical swing states where unions continue to hold influence.
Biden’s visit to the picket line was a significant step for a sitting president, as previous presidents have generally stayed out of strike situations. Labor historians noted that they could not recall an instance of a president joining an ongoing strike, even during the tenures of pro-union presidents like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Biden’s visit highlighted his pro-worker record, including support for unionization efforts at Amazon and executive actions promoting worker organizing. With his visit to the picket line, Biden aimed to strengthen his union support and highlight his commitment to standing up for workers’ rights.