President Biden on Wednesday met with United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain to discuss contract negotiations with automakers, while the union is currently withholding its endorsement of Biden’s reelection bid.
The UAW leadership had asked for an opportunity to brief White House senior staff on their analysis and positions related to the negotiations with the top U.S. automakers, known as the Big Three.
When Biden learned about that meeting in the West Wing, he asked to also talk directly with Fain and the two of them had a short meeting, a White House official said.
The union’s worker contracts expire in September, and Fain has warned automakers Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, formerly Chrysler, that the union is prepared to strike over negotiations about cost-of-living pay raises, pensions and other issues.
Meanwhile, the union said in May it won’t endorse Biden yet due to concerns over the White House’s focus on electric vehicles. The president has directed major funding towards a transition to EVs, building up manufacturing of parts and charging stations.
Fain said at the time that UAW wants to see a “just transition” to EVs “where the workers who make the auto industry run aren’t left behind.” He noted that taxpayer money is being used to build up the electric vehicle industry.
The union has historically backed Democrats and endorsed Biden in 2020. Fain has made clear the union is not going to support former President Trump.
Other major unions have backed Biden’s reelection bid already, including the AFL-CIO, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Teachers, among others.
Source: The Hill