Biden notches endorsement from United Auto Workers; union president calls Trump a ‘scab’

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden received a key 2024 endorsement on Wednesday from the United Auto Workers, with the union’s president using the occasion to savage Biden’s likely general election opponent, Donald Trump.

Shawn Fain announced UAW’s support for Biden’s reelection bid at their biannual conference in Washington, D.C.

“I know there’s some people that want to ignore this election,” Fain said. “They don’t want to have anything to do with politics. Other people want to argue endlessly about the latest headline or scandal or stupid quote. Elections aren’t about just taking your best friend for the job or the candidate who makes you feel good. Elections are about power.”

“The question is, who do we want in that office to give us the best shot of winning?” Fain said. “Who gives us the best shot of organizing? Who gives us the best shot of negotiating strong contracts? Who gives us the best shot of uniting the working class and winning our fair share once again?”

Fain cast the 2024 race as a choice between Biden and Trump and didn’t mince words in his criticism of the former president. He specifically took issue with Trump’s handling of the union’s 2019 strike, arguing that Trump didn’t do a “damn thing” while UAW members confronted General Motors at plants across the U.S.

“Donald Trump is a scab,” Fain said. “Donald Trump is a billionaire, and that’s who he represents. If Donald Trump ever worked in auto plant, he wouldn’t be a UAW member — he’d be a company man trying to squeeze the American worker.”

Last year, Biden joined UAW members striking against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis on the picket line in a historic show of support for workers amid their contract negotiations with the auto giants for better wages and conditions.

“If our endorsements must be earned, Joe Biden has earned it,” Fain said on Wednesday.

Biden also won the group’s endorsement in 2020, and it backed Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016.

But Trump was successful in battlegrounds like Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania in that election cycle in part because of his ability to attract more union support than past GOP candidates: The UAW said it believed one in four of its members likely voted for Trump based on surveys at the time.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

SHARE NOW