The United Auto Workers (UAW) union endorsed President Biden on Wednesday, boosting his campaign as it turns its attention to the November election.
UAW President Shawn Fain announced the union’s support at a conference in Washington, D.C., as he introduced Biden to deliver remarks, citing the president’s solidarity during its recent strike against major automakers.
“He heard the call, and he stood up and he showed up,” Fain said, prompting chants of, “Joe!”
“This choice is clear. Joe Biden bet on the American worker while Donald Trump blamed the American worker. We need to know who’s gonna sit in the most powerful seat in the world, and help us win as a united working class,” he added. “So if our endorsement must be earned, Joe Biden has earned it.”
Fain also highlighted several instances dating back to the 2007-08 recession in which Biden stood behind autoworkers while slamming former President Trump’s criticisms of the union.
“Rarely, as a union, do you get so clear of a choice between two candidates,” Fain said.
“It’s not about who you like. It’s not about your party. It’s not this bullshit about age. It’s not about anything but our best shot at taking back power for the working class,” he added.
“Donald Trump is a scab,” Fain continued. “Donald Trump is a billionaire, and that’s who he represents. If Donald Trump ever worked in an auto plant, he wouldn’t be a UAW member. He’d be a company man trying to squeeze the American worker. Donald Trump stands against everything we stand for as a union.”
The UAW had withheld its endorsement for the president despite historically supporting Democratic candidates and backing Biden in the 2020 election. Fain initially voiced concerns about the administration’s efforts to direct funding toward a transition to electric vehicles in a memo last May.
“The federal government is pouring billions into the electric vehicle transition, with no strings attached and no commitment to workers,” Fain wrote at the time. “The EV transition is at serious risk of becoming a race to the bottom. We want to see national leadership have our back on this before we make any commitments.”
The delayed endorsement is nonetheless a victory for Biden, who has billed himself as the “most pro-union president in American history” and gone to unprecedented lengths to prove it.
Biden joined striking autoworkers on the picket line in Michigan, becoming the first sitting president to do so, when the UAW walked out on three major automakers last year.
The union ultimately reached agreements with the three major U.S. car companies — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — in late October after striking for six weeks.
The UAW endorsement comes as Biden’s reelection campaign is shifting its focus to the general election after Trump’s win in the New Hampshire Republican primary on Tuesday.
Despite not appearing on the ballot in the Granite State, Biden also won the Democratic primary through a write-in campaign.
While former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley remains in the GOP primary race, it appears increasingly likely that Trump will secure the Republican nomination, teeing up a rematch between Biden and the former president.
Biden acknowledged as much on Tuesday, saying in a message to voters that “it is now clear” Trump will be the GOP nominee.
Michigan, a state known for its outsized role in the U.S. auto industry, will likely be a key battleground between Biden — who won the state in 2020 — and Trump, who flipped it in 2016 after years of reliable Democratic support.
Updated at 3:06 p.m.