UAW Predictably Endorses Biden for President

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
uaw predictably endorses biden for president

With very little going on in the automotive realm amid the pandemic, we decided to check in on the United Auto Workers to see if another chapter had been added to the organization’s ongoing corruption scandal. Not much news on that front, though the union did announce its pick for presidential candidate. On Tuesday, it publicly embraced Joe Biden.

While Biden has long been the presumed UAW favorite, a March confrontation with a Detroit factory worker over the former vice president’s 2nd Amendment policies briefly resulted in a cadre of union members pushing back against the candidate over social media. At the time, the situation looked to have done real damage to his prospects of getting union endorsements in the Midwest. However, it seems the outrage was short-lived. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has taken great strides to appeal to factory workers living in states like Michigan and Ohio — measures that clearly helped get him elected in 2016.

Recall the UAW came out rather aggressively against Trump prior to the last election and ultimately endorsed Hilary Clinton. With that in mind, it would be almost unthinkable to see the union change course. It was probably always going to be Biden; the union just needed to make an the obligatory announcement.

“In these dangerous and difficult times, the country needs a president who will demonstrate clear, stable leadership, less partisan acrimony and more balance to the rights and protections of working Americans,” said UAW President Rory Gamble in a statement.

“UAW Members need a federal government that ensures that members have both a good job to go to, and that they come home to their families at night having earned a fair day’s wage in a safe and secure place.”

While we’re inclined to agree with Gamble’s sentiment, the UAW’s endorsement record is about as partisan as it gets. In 2016, the The Detroit News asked an official from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) if it or the UAW had ever endorsed a Republican presidential nominee. They responded with a negative, while a UAW spokesperson said they couldn’t be certain. A little research tells us the AFL–CIO actually failed to endorse George McGovern in 1972. But the UAW did — along with every proceeding Democrat frontrunner until today.

It makes sense, as left-leaning candidates tend to be seen as more union friendly than their right-leaning counterparts. The UAW said Biden has already offered a clear strategy for union employees, which includes the following:

Reign in the abuse of corporate power over working people and hold corporate executives personally accountable for violations of labor laws.

Encourage and incentivize unionization and collective bargaining; and [sic]

Ensure that workers are treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits and workplace protections they deserve.

Ensure we expand access to affordable quality health care.

By contrast, the union’s previous messaging about Trump suggested he was interested in lowering wages or moving auto sector jobs out of the Midwest and into states with less union influence.

“With the comment he made here in Detroit, it leads one to believe that the way to bring jobs back is to lower everybody’s wages. One of the biggest issues in the U.S. today is inequality in wages. I have met people who work two jobs in order to make ends meet, working 60, 70, 80, 90 hours a week. In our society that’s what’s going on. So what are the details of making America great? I don’t want a president who has a good line. I want a president who has a line with the details. I want a president that will tell us what the details are. Trump has avoided the details. That concerns me,” former UAW President Dennis Williams wrote in 2016 after the union endorsed Clinton.

Williams is currently tied to the broadening corruption probe targeting UAW officials who embezzled funds (and/or took bribes) to pay for extravagant vacations, parties, and sprucing up their homes. While no charges has been filed against Mr. Williams, he’s believed to be one of the anonymous officials listed in the courtroom documents — specifically “UAW Official B,” who is alleged to have used ill-gotten cash to pay for rental properties around the country. But this is a new election, with Gamble now heading the union.

Will members heed the UAW’s quadrennial call to unify around its preferred candidate or has too much goodwill been lost? Hard to say, but a decidedly unscientific survey conducted by yours truly over several bored coronavirus weekends saw a smattering of UAW members endorsing Trump and Biden on an even split. That sample size of eight is bound to have a sizable margin of error, however.

Speaking of unscientific, Gamble also said that the UAW has been negotiating for enhanced safety standards over COVID-19 return-to-work policies — adding that the 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.”

Likewise, the UAW estimated that Biden’s experience in the past administration’s involvement in the “successful auto recovery will be instrumental as the industry experiences massive changes in technology and jobs,” be they in the automotive sector or elsewhere.

“In a changing economic environment, we need steady leadership and planning to make sure the jobs of the future are good-paying union jobs with benefits,” concluded Gamble. “And UAW members need to know they have a voice in those changes … UAW members ultimately want a voice. And Joe Biden is committed to giving UAW members that voice at the table.”

[Image: UAW]

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6 of 203 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 22, 2020

    Regarding my previous Biden comment - it was a joke. Why you guys are taking everything so seriously to the point of starting civil war. For Biden? I have a suggestion for you: put your money where your mouth is and start buying UAW made vehicles if you are so affectionate about Biden and his son.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 23, 2020

    This article is click bait. I wish this article was not posted because this encourages more partisan attacks instead of car discussions. Unfortunately the COVID-19 has encouraged nightly political campaigning by our President and I would be saying this even if he was a Democrat. Let's get back to more articles about cars.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 23, 2020

      @Jeff S - true but media outlets are competing for clicks which in turn affect revenue generation. COVID-19 is the dominant topic on people's minds. A distraction from that would be nice.

  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.
  • ToolGuy From the listing: "Oil changes every April & October (full-synth), during which I also swap out A/S (not the stock summer MPS3s) and Blizzak winter tires on steelies, rotating front/back."• While ToolGuy applauds the use of full synthetic motor oil,• ToolGuy absolutely abhors the waste inherent in changing out a perfectly good motor oil every 6 months.The Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage I run in our family fleet has a change interval of 20,000 miles. (Do I go 20,000 miles before changing it? No.) But this 2014 Focus has presumably had something like 16 oil changes in 36K miles, which works out to a 2,250 mile average change interval. Complete waste of time, money and perfectly good natural gas which could have gone to a higher and better use.Mobil 1 also says their oil miraculously expires at 1 year, and ToolGuy has questions. Is that one year in the bottle? One year in the vehicle? (Have I gone longer than a year in some of our vehicles? Yes, I have. Did I also add Lucas Oil 10131 Pure Synthetic Oil Stabilizer during that time, in case you are concerned about the additive package losing efficacy? Yes, I might have -- as far as you know.)TL;DR: I aim for annual oil changes and sometimes miss that 'deadline' by a few months; 12,000 miles between oil changes bothers me not at all, if you are using a quality synthetic which you should be anyway.