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United Auto Workers union backs Joe Biden for president

Former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate on March 15.
Former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate on March 15.
(Associated Press)

The United Auto Workers union is endorsing Joe Biden for president.

The roughly 400,000-member union says in a statement Tuesday that the nation needs stable leadership with less acrimony “and more balance to the rights and protections of working Americans.”

The union says the Democratic former vice president has committed to reining in corporate power over workers, encouraging collective bargaining, and making sure workers get the pay, benefits and protections they deserve. Biden also has committed to expanding
access to affordable healthcare, the union said.

Union negotiators are in talks with Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler about restarting U.S. factories that have been closed for the past month due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.

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“This issue demonstrates the need for presidential leadership to follow the guidance of science and give workers a seat in discussions over their safety and well-being,” the union’s statement said.

The UAW usually backs Democratic candidates, but internal polls showed just over 30% of its members voted Republican in the past three presidential elections.

The union represents about 150,000 workers with Detroit’s three automakers. But its membership also includes factory workers in other industries as well as nurses, casino workers, and university graduate assistants.

A GM factory in Warren, Mich., is closing as Democrats come to Detroit to debate. Some workers, in a county and a state key to the 2020 presidential race, wonder whether elected officials can or will help.
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