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Biden to meet with rank-and-file UAW members during visit to Michigan

President Biden is headed to Michigan on Thursday to meet with United Auto Workers (UAW) members on the heels of the group’s endorsement of his reelection campaign.

Biden will participate in a discussion with rank-and-file workers at a UAW hall near Detroit, his campaign said. UAW President Shawn Fain will also attend, with the event focusing on the issues at stake in November’s election.

“Everything we do as a union, including this election, is about building power for the working class,” Fain said in a statement provided by the Biden campaign. “We can elect a President who stands up for workers, or we can elect a billionaire who sides with the billionaires. Right now, tens of thousands of autoworkers are standing up to win a better life across this country, and we need a President who will support those workers, not one who will attack them every step of the way. The UAW knows where we stand, and who stands with us — Joe Biden.”

The UAW endorsed Biden last week. Fain said the president had earned the group’s backing with his commitment to working-class Americans, and he lashed out at former President Trump as a “scab” who “stands against everything we stand for as a union.”

Biden, who has frequently declared himself the most pro-union president in history, met with workers on the picket line in Michigan last September during a UAW strike amid a contract dispute with Ford, Stellantis and General Motors. He was the first sitting president to walk the picket line.

One of the points of contention in negotiations was the production of electric vehicles, something Biden has embraced as his administration seeks to incentivize more climate friendly cars.

Trump, seeking to capitalize on the UAW strike and win over support from working class voters, traveled to Michigan last September to deliver remarks during the strike. But he visited a non-union shop, and he has blasted Fain as a “dope” in the wake of the Biden endorsement.

Trump has sought to eat into Biden’s support with organized labor nonetheless, arguing rank-and-file members would support him and meeting this week with the Teamsters in Washington, D.C.

Trump lost among union members by 14 percentage points in the 2020 election against Biden, an increase from 2016 when he lost union members by 8 percentage points to Hillary Clinton.

Biden has racked up endorsements from the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, as well as the American Federation of Teachers, the United Farm Workers and the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

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