UAW President Fain on not endorsing Biden: ‘We expect actions not words’

United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain said Sunday he has not endorsed President Biden for the 2024 election because the union “expects actions, not words” from the president. 

Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” what it will take to endorse Biden, Fain said, “Our endorsements are going to be earned. We’ve been very clear about that, no matter what politician.”

When asked how Biden can earn the endorsement, Fain said, “We expect actions, not words.” 

Fain referenced comments over the Biden administration’s recent attempts to interject in the UAW’s negotiations with three major automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. 

“This negotiating … our negotiators are fighting hard,” Fain said. “Our leadership is fighting hard. It’s going to be won at the negotiating table with our negotiating teams, with members manning our picket lines and our allies out there.”

Fain’s comments come after Biden said last week he was sending acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior aide Gene Sperling to Detroit to help reach a “win-win” contract for the companies and their employees. 

“Who the president is now, who the former president was or the president before them isn’t going to win this fight,” Fain continued. “This fight is all about one thing — it’s about workers winning their fair share of economic justice instead of being left behind as they have been in the last decades.” 

UAW workers began a strike against the automakers last week after ongoing negotiations failed and the workers’ contracts expired.

The union is asking for wage increases, cost-of-living pay raises, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, union representation of workers at new battery plants and restoration of traditional-defined benefit pensions for new hires who now receive only 401(k)-style retirement plans and pension increases for retirees.

Last week, former UAW President Bob King said Biden “should have done a lot more already” to assist striking autoworkers. In an interview with NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo, King said he also backed Fain’s decision not to endorse Biden over concerns about federal electric vehicle (EV) policies. 

The Biden administration has pushed for an industry shift to EVs, which require fewer workers to make, sparking concerns over how such a transition could impact workers jobs and pay.

NewsNation is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill. 

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