By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden will travel to Michigan on Thursday to meet with United Auto Workers members at an event at a Detroit-area union hall, a campaign official told Reuters.
The trip to the battleground state comes a week after the UAW endorsed Biden for re-election, with union President Shawn Fain delivering a fiery speech in Washington that also harshly criticized the former Republican and likely president Biden’s electoral rival. Donald Trump.
Fain cited Biden’s pro-union record and his decision to become the first president to join a union picket line last year during a successful auto worker strike for higher wages and noted that Trump did not do the same during a 2019 strike against General Motors.
“Instead of speaking ill of our union, Joe Biden stood with us,” Fain said. Fain and Biden previously had sharp differences on electric vehicle policy, and this endorsement could be a powerful boost for Biden in Michigan and other manufacturing states.
Last week, Reuters reported that Biden was planning a possible trip to Michigan involving UAW meetings.
Fain said in his speech that Biden has a history of serving the working class, while Trump “opposes everything we stand for,” citing among other things Trump’s appearance at a non-union hall during the workers’ strike of the automobile. He called Trump an anti-union “yellow.”
Trump reacted furiously Sunday on his Truth Social platform, calling Fain “stiff” and a “dope” and urging autoworkers to vote for him and not Biden in November. Trump also harshly criticized Biden’s electric vehicle policies.
Biden has won the support of most of the nation’s major unions. But UAW approval took longer, despite a full presser that included Biden joining the strikers.
One exception is the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is scheduled to meet with Trump on Wednesday in Washington to review his support. The Teamsters union supported Biden…