U.S. President Joe Biden hosts a summit with Pacific islands leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C., Sept. 25, 2023.
Leah Millis | Reuters
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden‘s decision to join striking United Auto Workers in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday was not influenced by former president Donald Trump’s planned visit Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“Absolutely not,” Jean-Pierre said when asked at the press briefing Monday. “This decision to visit the picket line was based on his own desire. This is what the president wanted — to stand with autoworkers. That’s what you’re going to see the president do tomorrow.”
Jean-Pierre said Biden is visiting the picket line at the invitation of UAW President Shawn Fain and stands with autoworkers, though she did not get into details of the ongoing negotiations between the union and automakers.
The UAW, which represents about 146,000 workers across Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, has historically supported Democrats and endorsed Biden in 2020, but it is the only major union that has yet to endorse the president for reelection.
UAW workers on Friday expanded their strike to 38 parts and distribution locations across 20 states, targeting GM and Stellantis. The union will not initiate additional strikes at Ford Motor, as the company has proven it’s “serious about reaching a deal,” Fain said in a Facebook Live comment.
Trump announced last week he would skip the second GOP debate in California and speak with striking UAW members instead.