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UAW President Invites Biden to Picket Lines

UAW President Invites Biden to Picket Lines


Shawn Fain, the United Automobile Workers president, escalated pressure on the White House on Friday with a public invitation to President Biden to join workers on the picket lines in their growing strike against the nation’s leading automakers.

“We invite and encourage everyone who supports our cause to join us on the picket lines, from our friends and family all the way to the president of the United States,” Mr. Fain said in a speech streamed online.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Fain’s invitation comes a week into an expanding work stoppage by autoworkers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis plants. The union president announced that the strike, which began last week at three plants in the Midwest, would expand to 38 more locations in 20 states across the country at noon on Friday. He said that talks with General Motors and Stellantis had not progressed significantly, but that Ford had done more to meet the union’s demands.

Mr. Biden has defended the striking autoworkers, saying when the stoppage began last week that “workers deserve a fair share of the benefits they helped create.” The White House has dispatched Julie Su, the acting secretary of labor, and Gene Sperling, a top White House economic adviser, to seek an end to the strike.

Former President Donald J. Trump is skipping next week’s Republican presidential primary debate to instead deliver a speech in Michigan before current and former union workers.

Michigan, the heart of the American automotive industry, is expected to be a key battleground state for both parties in next year’s presidential election. Mr. Trump narrowly won the state in 2016 after it backed Democrats for decades in presidential elections. Mr. Biden flipped the state back in 2020.

Democrats now control all major state offices in Michigan and have rallied to support the striking workers, with many leading elected officials appearing at rallies and on the picket lines over the last week.

Mr. Fain, who appeared at a rally with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont when the strike began, has been critical of Mr. Trump. The U.A.W., however, has broken with other major unions in so far declining to endorse Mr. Biden’s re-election bid. Mr. Fain wrote in a memo this year that his union had concerns about Mr. Biden’s push for a transition to election vehicles, which require fewer workers to produce.


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