We are closing our live page coverage of President Biden’s visit to the UAW’s picket line in Michigan.
If you want to learn more, click here to read on the ground coverage from our business reporter Natalie Sherman.
Today’s page was edited by Marianna Brady and Brandon Livesay with reporting from Chloe Kim.
Tony Branner, 38, said he felt the strike was necessary to reclaim ground lost by the union during the 2008 financial crisis, including pay adjustments to reflect an increasing cost of living.
“It’s been hard ever since we gave that up,” he said.
Branner said he didn’t vote for either Trump or Biden in 2020 and welcomed support for the striking workers from whichever politician wanted to give it.
“I hope it helps,” he said. He said he had not been paying much attention to their political positions to date, but he expects to remember what the candidates do now during the strike when the 2024 election arrives.
“It’s about next year so let’s see what you’re going to do for us,” he said. “Whoever is fighting to help my job be better, I will support.”
Biden visited the picket line today and President Trump will speak tomorrow in Michigan, instead of attending the second Republican debate.
Lillian Dunson was one of the workers put on temporary layoff by Ford after the strike began.
The grandmother, who has worked for the company since 2021 and helps raise her three grandchildren, said she’s worried about how she will continue paying bills if the strike goes on.
“If I don’t work, I don’t eat,” she said. “I have no other income right now.”
But she said she wholeheartedly supports the strike, despite the immediate cost.
“I can’t afford not to,” she said. “If we don’t stand now, we’ll never get the things they promised to us.”
She said she welcomed President Biden’s visit and support.
“I believe that he feels what we feel and that he’s not just a billionaire,” she said. “I hope I get to meet him.”
Of Trump, she said she felt his visit was “disingenuous”.
“I think he’s a great pretender,” she said.
We’ve just seen President Biden speak to striking UAW members in Michigan.
Here’s what happened:
- Biden was invited by the UAW president to visit the picket line
- During Biden’s brief visit he told workers they deserve a significant raise, adding that “unions built the middle class”
- Union president Shawn Fain spoke out against CEOs, saying workers make the world run
- The UAW declared a strike targeting Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, in a bid to put pressure on the carmakers to grant higher pay and make other improvements in new labour agreements
- Donald Trump will visit striking workers in Michigan tomorrow
Before heading out, Biden grabbed the microphone one last time.
“You’ve heard me say this before,” the president started.
“Wall Street didn’t build the country. The middle class built the country. Unions built the middle class.”