Biden joins striking auto workers on picket line

President Joe Biden on Tuesday became the first sitting president to walk a picket line with striking workers, vividly demonstrating his commitment to labor and its central role in his reelection campaign.

The president, donning a blue hat with a United Auto Workers symbol, used a bull horn to speak to the crowd of union members dressed in red. He was flanked by United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain.

“The unions built the middle class. That’s a fact. Let’s keep going,” the president told the crowd. “You deserve what you’ve earned and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid now.”

Biden’s choice to show solidarity with striking auto workers at a time of great promise and peril for the labor movement represented a tectonic shift for an office historically known for breaking strikes, not supporting them.

The move also appeared to be a clear counter to former President Donald Trump, who plans to visit Michigan on Wednesday instead of participating in the second Republican primary debate — the latest sign that both candidates have moved beyond the primary phase of the election and are focused on November 2024.