President Joe Biden visits Detroit auto workers following UAW endorsement

Detroit’s narrative took a historic turn this summer, as President Joe Biden became the first sitting president to stand shoulder to shoulder with workers on the picket lines. The automotive industry, the lifeblood of Detroit, witnessed a seismic shift during the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big 3 which includes Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis/Chrysler. UAW President Shawn Fain, leading from the front, rallied his members to not back down until substantial changes were made. Biden’s presence on the picket line, in solidarity with the strikers, marked a historic moment, symbolizing a profound partnership between the highest office in the land and the labor force that has long been the backbone of the American economy. 

As the Michigan Chronicle followed President Biden during his tour of the battleground state, it was clear that this was a celebration after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union recently endorsed his re-election bid. Biden visited a UAW union hall in Warren, Michigan, where UAW members plan to work a phone bank on his behalf ahead of the state’s primaries on February 27th. 

“This is the man that stood with us in our Big 3 fight and the man that continues to stand with us in our future fight, keep Joe Biden as our president,” declared Fain at Biden’s campaign stop to the Region 1 UAW event. “This is our shot, this is our time, and this is our mission from this day forward. We’re going to fight like hell and we’re going to assure that Joe Biden is the next president so the working class can keep moving forward.” 

As Biden made his way to Michigan Thursday, thrilled by the recent endorsement from the United Auto Workers union, he was met with mixed sentiments. The backdrop of U.S. support for Israel’s military actions in Gaza cast a shadow over his visit, particularly in a state known for its significant Arab American population. However, the controversy did little to dampen the spirits of the union workers who greeted the President with open arms, their focus firmly on the alliance between labor workers and the Biden administration. 

“Because of union workers like you and organized labor we now have the strongest economy in the whole damn, world!” Proclaimed Biden. “The whole country owes you and a special thank you to this guy named Shawn – he gets it.” 

During his speech, Biden shared his personal story about his humble upbringing, “I was raised on GM, my dad managed a dealership in Delaware.” Biden mentioned how Delaware had the highest percentage of auto workers and the largest GM and Chrysler facility in the nation outside of Detroit, “That’s how we all made it.” Connecting his family’s history with the auto industry to the broader narrative of labor’s role in building America’s middle class. “Wall Street didn’t build the middle class; labor built the middle class.” This statement not only underlines Biden’s stance on supporting the labor union but also reinforces his commitment to uplifting the middle and working classes, with a particular emphasis on union support. 

At a time where former president Donald Trump is seeking presidency, again, Black voters are rallying behind him possibly making him the first republican candidate with the most Black votes since Nixon but casting away that reality, UAW President Shawn Fain’s endorsement of Biden came with a pointed comparison: “The choice is clear: Joe Biden bet on the American worker, and Trump blamed the American worker.” This sentiment was further echoed by the clean energy boom spurred by Biden’s policies, which have already resulted in the creation of over 16,699 new, well-paying jobs in Michigan alone, illustrating the tangible benefits of Biden’s focus on clean energy and labor. 

In contrast, the corporate sphere presented a starkly different picture, with companies like Shell announcing substantial profits while simultaneously laying off workers and stepping back from their environmental commitments. This dichotomy highlights the broader struggle between labor and capital, with Biden’s policies offering a beacon of hope for those advocating for sustainable job growth and environmental progress. 

The clean energy plan championed by Biden has not only resulted in a significant investment that spurred a massive $21.3 billion investment in Michigan alone, the third highest in the nation but has also laid the groundwork for a future where clean energy and labor go hand in hand. With projections indicating the creation of 167,000 new jobs in Michigan over the next decade, the Biden administration’s policies are poised to reshape the state’s economic landscape, promising a future where good-paying jobs and environmental sustainability are not mutually exclusive. 

As Detroit continues to navigate the complexities of the 21st century, the support and policies of the Biden administration offer a roadmap towards a more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous tomorrow. The solidarity shown by Biden, standing with workers on the picket lines, and the tangible benefits of his clean energy policies, are more than political gestures—they are the building blocks of a renewed American dream, a dream that started right here in Detroit and has spread throughout the corners of the state rooted in the dignity of labor. 

President Joe Biden was met with an outpouring of support and enthusiasm as he walked into the heart of Region 1 UAW. The energy was undeniable, the air thick with anticipation and unity, as members from all walks of life filled every corner of the room, their voices merging into a together for President Biden as they chanted, “Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe” followed with applause and fists pumps. This wasn’t just a warm welcome; it was a powerful testament to the solidarity and shared purpose between the labor community and the President. The members stood, not just as supporters, but as partners in progress, recognizing in Biden a leader who genuinely grasps the value and dignity of their work – they felt seen and most importantly, they felt heard. Their spirited welcome was more than just respect for the office he holds; it was an acknowledgment of Biden’s unwavering stance alongside them, a shared battle cry for justice, equity, and the unwavering spirit of Detroit. 

Detroit’s heartbeat is deeply synchronized with the labor union’s rhythm, narrating a rich history of resilience and transformation. This city, forever changed by the Great Migration, stands as a living testament to the unbreakable spirit of those who ventured north, lured by the promise of the auto industry. Here, the labor union is more than a collective bargaining entity; it is the soul of Detroit, a beacon of hope and solidarity, championing the rights and dignity of its members. The significance of the labor union here transcends employment; it represents a shared heritage, a collective struggle, and the unwavering pursuit of the American dream, meticulously crafted on the factory floors of the Motor City. 

Closing out his speech President Joe Biden’s introduction of Governor Gretchen Whitmer as “the greatest governor in the nation” was a powerful expression of respect and admiration. This endorsement, set against a backdrop of unity and shared purpose, resonated with everyone present. With notable figures like Speaker of the House Joe Tate, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, Representative Debbie Dingell, and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist standing together, the event became a testament to the collective strength of the union members. Biden’s ability to captivate the audience underscored a celebration of shared values and visions, highlighting the strong partnership between Michigan’s leaders and the heart of its cities—the labor union members.  

Biden, with his relatable yet commanding approach that has come to define his public persona, stood before the crowd, his message resonating with a clear and without a doubt declaration: “I’m on your side.” This wasn’t mere political speech; it was a solemn vow from a leader who understands the very fabric of Detroit’s identity as the nation’s automotive stronghold.  Biden’s solidarity with the UAW members in Detroit goes beyond mere policy—it’s a recognition of the city’s pivotal role in the nation’s economy and the respect he has for the labor force that drives it.  

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