Joe Biden will become the first sitting president to join a picket line on Tuesday when he makes an appearance in Michigan to show solidarity with striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. The union is currently locked in a dispute with the nation’s three biggest car manufacturers.
As the presidential election nears, this will be Biden’s bid to win the backing of strikers at a plant in the Detroit area which will eventually help him secure the support of union members in Michigan. Michigan is a key presidential election battleground state.
Former President Donald Trump, who is being touted as the primary GOP rival that Biden will have to face in the 2024 election, is also set to visit Detroit, but a day after Biden’s state visit. Trump is also expected to address workers in his own pitch for the strikers’ support.
During his 2016 election victory over Hillary Clinton, Trump won Michigan with the help of union members’ support. He lost the same state four years later in the 2020 election to Biden. Trump is not expected to visit a picket line.
Biden has touted himself as the most union-friendly president in US history. Despite his self-proclaimed credentials, UAW has yet to endorse his bid for re-election. Tuesday’s trip will give him the chance to appease the union and gain their backing for his re-election campaign.
The POTUS wrote on X, which was formerly known as Twitter, that the aim of his visit was “to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create”.
He added: “It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs.”