UAW endorses Biden after holding out for months
Why it matters: With about 1 million members, including active and retired workers, the UAW remains a powerful force in progressive politics.
Driving the news: UAW president Shawn Fain hailed Biden's leadership, praising the president for standing with the union during its strike against the Detroit Three automakers.
- "This choice is clear," Fain said. "Joe Biden bet on the American worker, while Donald Trump blamed the American worker."
- "Donald Trump is a scab!" he added to raucous cheers at a UAW political conference in Washington, D.C.
Context: The endorsement came after the UAW scored record contracts from General Motors, Ford and Stellantis following an unprecedented simultaneous strike against all three automakers.
- During the strike, Fain said the White House was "afraid" of the union's momentum, and personally challenged Biden to join the picket line.
- Biden quickly accepted the invitation and appeared alongside Fain on a picket line outside a GM facility in Michigan in September.
- He made another appearance with Fain after the UAW landed new contracts — but he still didn't get the endorsement.
What they're saying: "I'm honored to have your back," Biden said, briefly donning a UAW hat, adding that "I was so damn proud to stand in the picket line with you."
Yes, but: The UAW was never expected to consider endorsing former President Trump, whom Fain has repeatedly lambasted.
- Still, the union had expressed concern over the federal government doling out EV incentives for vehicles made by foreign automakers without union labor.
Worth noting: The UAW's membership base is not politically monolithic.
- About one-third of its members voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, according to the union's internal polling.
What we're watching: Whether the endorsement affects the UAW's prospects of organizing the non-unionized automakers in the U.S.
- Many of them, including Volkswagen, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai, are in the more politically conservative South.
Editor's note: This story was updated with Biden's comments from the event.