On January 24, the United Auto Workers union backed President Joe Biden, a long-awaited move that significantly boosted the president.
The endorsement comes as the Biden campaign entirely shifts its focus to the general election, citing former President Donald Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary on January 23 as evidence that he is expected to be named the GOP nominee for president.
Biden declared, “I am delighted to have your support,” after receiving the UAW’s endorsement at their conference in Washington, DC. “I have kept my promise to be the most pro-union president in history, and I want to express my gratitude for having your support. You have my back, and I have yours.”
The president and union leadership have a long history of courting each other. While union leadership’s support is a significant endorsement for Biden, it might not be enough to persuade the general public to support the candidate in November. The UAW endorsed Biden in the 2020 election despite many of its rank-and-file members backing Trump.
Ahead of endorsing the president, UAW President Shawn Fain said union workers’ choice in 2024 “It’s not about who you like, your party, or this thing about age. It’s not about anything but our best shot at taking back power for the working class.”
However, just because the union supports Biden for a second term does not imply that it agrees with him on all issues. In December, the UAW issued a statement advocating for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza, which Biden has refused. During the president’s speech on January 24, a spectator waved a Palestinian flag and yelled, “Ceasefire now!” This demonstrated the dissimilarity between the union’s and the president’s positions on Israel.
According to Fain, union board members unanimously supported Biden, and Biden’s choice to walk a picket line had a significant role in their choice. He claimed the union is “going to work now…. We’re going to push like hell” to get Biden reelection, which might be critical in areas like Michigan.