WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden plans to visit Michigan on Tuesday to show support for the United Auto Workers as they continue their strike against the Detroit Three car companies.
Biden said he will join at UAW picket line "and stand in solidarity with the men and women of the UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create."
"It's time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs," he said in a statement posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
The UAW is on the eighth day of its strike against Ford Motor Co., Stellantis NV and Ford Motor Co. as it pushes for higher wages and benefits amid record profits. The union announced Friday it would be adding 38 General Motors and Stellantis parts distribution centers across the country to its strike, which first hit three assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri last week.
Pressure has been building on Biden, the self-described most "pro-union president in American history," to visit the striking workers. UAW President Shawn Fain himself urged Biden to come earlier Friday.
“We invite and encourage everyone who supports our cause to join us on the picket line," he said during a Facebook Live announcing the new strike targets. "From our friends and families all the way up to the President of the United States, we invite you to join us in our fight.”
Some Michigan Democrats also urged him to visit. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., told the Washington Post earlier this week: "I know the UAW family would love the most powerful person in the world — the president of the United States — to come and hold a sign in solidarity with them. But I hope he does it in a way where he actually sits down and has a roundtable with some key people, and really listens to how hard it’s been."
Republicans, too, had been pushing Biden to come and using the opportunity to argue the administration's pro-electric vehicle policies are to blame for workers' frustrations.
"I mean, for the president who's supposed to be pro-union, I think he should at least go take a look at what's going on," said Rep. Lisa McClain. "A strike isn't good for anybody, but bad policies lead to bad outcomes."
But not all Democrats were aligned on calling for his presence. Rep. Debbie Dingell pushed back on questions earlier this week on whether he should visit striking workers.
"This has become a gotcha question. I think Trump and the president coming or not coming is diverting from what's really happening at the table," she said. "He doesn't belong at the table. We know he supports the workers."
The trip will also come as former President Donald Trump plans a visit of his own. Trump plans to skip the second GOP presidential debate on Wednesday to hold a rally in Michigan with current and former union members.
The location of Trump's event has not yet been announced by the Trump campaign.
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