The president had a message for autoworkers about their leadership.
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain issued a statement criticizing former President Donald Trump after news broke of the 2024 frontrunner’s plans to skip the second GOP primary debate to give a speech to autoworkers in Detroit.
President Trump skipped the first GOP primary debate to do an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired at the same time as the live debate. The second Republican primary debate will take place in California on Sept. 27, which an aide told Reuters the GOP frontrunner will also skip.
Meanwhile, President Trump singled out Mr. Fain while criticizing President Biden’s electric vehicle policies, calling on the union to abandon its support for President Biden.
“If you take a look at what they’re doing with electric cars, electric cars are going to be made in China,” he said. “The auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership, and their leadership should endorse Trump.”
“You’ve got to have choice, like in school. I want school choice. I also want choice for cars. If somebody wants gasoline, if somebody wants all electric, they can do whatever they want,” added President Trump, who has been sparring over economic and energy policy with President Biden as the two campaign.
President Trump has put out Agenda 47, policies he would implement if voted into office as the 47th President of the United States. In campaign videos addressing these policies, he has said he would get rid of President Biden’s energy policies “on day one.”
“That’s why I’m going to terminate these Green New Deal atrocities on day one,” he said.
In a Truth Social post President Trump made a day after the NBC interview, he bypassed union leadership and addressed the workers directly.
He repeated his claim that the Biden administration’s electric vehicle policy would ultimately send their jobs to China, adding that if President Biden stays in power they’ll be “jobless & penniless within 4 years.”
The outcome of the strike should send a signal to other labor groups, as healthcare workers are negotiating a contract set to terminate the end of September as well. The UAW has made a high demand of a 40 percent pay raise over four years plus cost-of-living increases, pension expansions, and a 36 hour workweek for 40 hours of pay.
Stellantis has already reportedly offered 21 percent, which the union turned down. If the strikes drag on and the companies give in, it could bolster other unions in their efforts to continue or make use of a strike. If the unions ultimately come to an agreement close to what the companies offered early on, it could be used as an example to deter labor groups from doing the same.