(NewsNation) — UAW members on strike against Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers are gearing up for President Joe Biden to join them on the picket lines in Wayne, Michigan, on Tuesday — a show of support that hasn’t been seen from a sitting president.
Biden, who said he supports the union’s demands for better pay and benefits, will be joined by UAW President Shawn Fain as he speaks to union members.
“I think that now that the industry is roaring back, they should participate in the benefit of that. And I can take a look at the significant increase in salaries for executives and the growth of the industry, they should benefit from it. So yes, I support — I always support the UAW,” Biden said.
If negotiations continue to stall with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, Fain has indicated he will call upon more workers to join the strike.
Biden’s visit comes one day before former President Donald Trump is expected to give a speech to UAW workers outside Detroit on Wednesday.
The two 2024 presidential candidates will duel for union members’ votes.
In a speech, Trump said he believes his announcement to travel to Michigan prompted Biden to make his own plans to travel to the state.
“He’s selling our automobile companies, everything right down the tube. So I announce that I’m going to Michigan and he announces twenty minutes later, ‘Oh I’m going to Michigan,’ because that’s where the people who run the country told him he has to go.”
The White House has denied the former president’s trip prompted Biden’s visit.
But voters in Michigan, and the union vote in particular, are expected to be critical in the 2024 presidential election.
Biden’s support among the union members has declined in recent months, a Bloomberg report said. Trump had a three-point lead over Biden in August despite Biden being ahead by 9% back in June.
Meanwhile, Ford announced they are pausing a $3.5 billion EV battery plant project in Marshall, Michigan, over concerns about sustaining operations.
It’s a project lawmakers on Capitol Hill are also investigating due to its ties with a Chinese company.
Fain called the move a “barely veiled threat by Ford to cut jobs,” adding the union wants a “just transition to electric vehicles.