The UAW union endorsed the re-election bid of incumbent U.S. President Joe Biden during the organization’s January 24th Community Action Program conference at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington, DC.
UAW president Shawn Fain, who recently headed the union through its successful Stand Up Strike to win wage and benefit concessions via its latest four-year contract with the Detroit Three automakers, declared “today I’m proud to announce that UAW is endorsing Joe Biden for President of the United States.”
Fain said in his prepared remarks that “everything we do as a union must be about taking back our power as the working class,” using this as the lead-in concept before comparing and contrasting the two presidential candidates. He blasted former president Donald Trump as a “scab” and claiming that if he “worked at an auto plant,” Trump would be “a company man trying to squeeze the American worker.”
After continuing in this vein for some time, and noting Biden’s support during the strike, Fain declared “we’ve said we’d stand with whoever stood with us in our contract fight,” shortly before announcing Biden as the next speaker. Biden took the podium to chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe!” and, among other remarks, stated “let me just say I’m honored to have your back and you have mine. That’s the deal.”
The road to the current endorsement began in September 2023 when Joe Biden visited the UAW picket line at the GM Willow Run Distribution Center, voicing his support for the striking workers. Shawn Fain initially downplayed Biden’s significance in the negotiations, though he also denounced Trump’s visit to a non-union plant in Michigan.
By November, Fain and Biden were on much more cordial terms. Biden and the UAW chief celebrated the successes of the Stand Up Strike together in November during a presidential visit to Illinois. Biden also expressed his support for Fain’s desire to unionize the entire U.S. auto industry.
Chuck Browning, vice president of the UAW, summarized the mood of Wednesday’s event by recalling the success of the union’s aggressive tactics during last year’s strikes.
Browning concluded, “It’s time that we used those same aggressive tactics and applied them to our political program. It’s time for us to take the boss fight to the next level. That’s how we win.”