Dear Commons Community,
United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain took it to former President Trump, saying he serves a “billionaire class,” a day ahead of Trump’s visit to Detroit where he will speak to union workers.
When asked on CNN about the former president’s trip to Detroit, Fain said, “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.”
“He serves a billionaire class and that’s what’s wrong in this country,” Fain continued.
Trump is expected to travel to Detroit today, where he will meet with current and former union workers amid their ongoing strike against the “Big Three” automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.
Fain said it is “pathetic irony” Trump will reportedly hold a rally at a non-union plant in Macomb County, Mich. As reported by The Hill.
“All you have to do is look at his track record,” Fain said. “His track record speaks for itself. In 2008, during the Great Recession, he blamed UAW members, he blamed our contracts for everything that was wrong with these companies — that’s a complete lie.”
Fain pointed to Trump’s discussion during his 2016 presidential campaign to move jobs in the Midwest to the South, which he said would “make people beg for their jobs back at lower wages.”
“And the ultimate show of…how much he cares about our workers was in 2019 when he was the president of the United States,” Fain said. ‘Where was he then? Our workers at GM [General Motors] were on strike for 60 days, for two months. They were out there on the picket lines, I didn’t see him hold a rally. I didn’t see him stand up at the picket line.”
Meanwhile, President Biden joined the picket line with union autoworkers on yesterday, becoming the first sitting president to do so. The move was seen by some as a likely offense against Trump, who is likely to be his 2024 presidential opponent.
The president spoke to a group at a General Motors facility in Belleville, Mich., alongside Fain, who has yet to endorse Biden’s reelection bid, citing concerns over the Biden administration’s push for electric vehicles (EVs), which put autoworkers’ jobs at risk.
When pressed on if his jabs at Trump indicate an endorsement for Biden, Fain said, “It’s not an endorsement for anyone, it’s just flat out how I view the former president.”
UAW began its historic strike against the automakers nearly two weeks ago after ongoing negotiations failed and the workers’ contracts expired.
The union is asking for wage increases, cost-of-living pay raises, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, union representation at new battery plants, restoration of traditional-defined benefit pensions for new hires who currently receive only 401(k)-style retirement plans, and pension increases for retirees.
Fain has it right!