UAW Endorses Joe Biden for President of the United States
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, January 24th, with hundreds of UAW members, leaders, and activists gathered at the union’s national Community Action Program (CAP) conference, the UAW announced its endorsement of Joe Biden for President of the United States.
Addressing the assembled members, UAW President Shawn Fain spoke to the issues facing the working class, and the strategic choice ahead in the 2024 presidential election.
“This November, we can stand up and elect someone who wants to stand with us and support our cause. Or we can elect someone who will divide us and fight us every step of the way,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “That’s what this choice is about. The question is, who do we want in that office to give us the best shot of winning? Of organizing. Of negotiating strong contracts. Of uniting the working class and winning our fair share once again, as our union has done so many times in our nation’s history. We need to know who’s going to sit in the most powerful seat in the world and help us win as a united working class.”
“Today I’m proud to announce that UAW is endorsing Joe Biden for President of the United States. And I am honored to invite Joe Biden to come address our great union, and join us in our fight for economic and social justice for the UAW and for the whole working class. UAW family, let’s stand up and welcome the man who stood up for us. Please welcome the current President of the United States, the man we will re-elect, Joe Biden!”
For President Fain’s full remarks as prepared, see below:
To view the full recorded and livestreamed proceedings of the UAW CAP Conference, go to UAW’s YouTube page. Media is encouraged to use these materials in coverage, with credit to UAW.
President Fain’s Prepared Remarks
Good afternoon, UAW family,
As we near the end of our CAP Conference, I first want to thank you all.
This has been an inspiring few days of strategy, discussion, and planning for the fights ahead. Let’s give a hand to all of our CAP Reps for everything you do for this union and for this movement.
I want to recognize our fantastic CAP staff who have worked so hard to make this event a success.
I want to recognize our International Executive Board for your leadership and your participation here this week.
And most of all I want to recognize our members across the country, in every sector, who are the ONLY reason we’re here, and who are the TRUE LEADERS of our movement.
When I became the president of this great union, just 10 months ago, I promised that we would do things differently.
I promised that we would return to our roots, pursue economic and social justice, and that we would FIGHT LIKE HELL, not just for UAW members, but for the ENTIRE working class.
That’s exactly what we’ve done, and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.
With that said, we know there are many outside of this room who DOUBTED our movement, DOUBTED our strength, and DOUBTED our resolve.
When we went on strike against the Big 3, you’ll remember that many of the talking heads DISMISSED our demands as UNREALISTIC.
They said workers could never win back COLA. BUT WE DID.
They said we couldn’t bring back a plant that was scheduled to close. But we did.
They said, we’d NEVER be able to make EV jobs good jobs, NEVER get it under our master agreements. But we did.
They said there is NO WAY we could end wage tiers. But we did, winning life-changing raises for thousands of members.
They said we couldn’t bargain for our retirees. But we did.
Together, WE MOVED MOUNTAINS.
Not since the sit down strikes of the 1930s has there been a union victory on this scale.
We were underestimated then, and I’m sure we’ll be underestimated NOW by the corporate class and their political allies.
But the people who matter are with us.
75% of the American people stood with us during the strike.
And workers everywhere are standing with us now.
They STAND UP because they know what it’s like to work paycheck to paycheck.
And they STAND UP because we stick to the facts and tell the truth.
During the strike, we shared the FACT that the companies had made a quarter of a trillion dollars in profit in the past decade.
We shared the FACT that the CEOs had given themselves 40% wage increases over four years. And we shared the FACT that workers had fallen further and further behind.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly, the American people stand with us because they understand that our movement is fighting for every last working class American.
That is our guiding light.
EVERYTHING we do as a union must be about taking back our power as the working class.
That’s what being UAW really means.
It means being strategic, clear, and aggressive in our mission to win for workers everywhere.
Working class people are hurting. For decades, we’ve been ignored at best, and trampled on at worst.
But we are the vast majority of society.
We have the NUMBERS, and we have the VOTES.
When we stand UNITED, we put FEAR in the hearts of the billionaire class.
But they keep us weak by dividing us.
It’s an old trick the billionaires play, but it’s effective. Time and time again, the wealthy divide the masses as the rich walk away with the loot!
They try to divide us by gender.
They try to divide us by nationality.
They try to divide us by race.
They act like how you live your life, or where you were born, or what color your skin is, is a threat to the person on the worksite next to you.
They talk about WHO you love, where you’re from, or how you look.
So they don’t have to talk about who you work for, WHERE the profits go, and WHO benefits.
THAT’S what unites us.
And THAT UNITY is where our power comes from.
What we learned in the Stand Up Strike is if we unite on our issues, if we fight like hell, if we focus on things that matter to the American people, WE WIN.
Our Stand Up Strike wasn’t just about one contract.
It was about the fight for a LIVING WAGE.
It was about a SECURE RETIREMENT.
It was about HEALTH CARE.
It was about taking our TIME back and taking our LIVES back.
Wages. Retirement. Health Care. Time.
These are the issues that UNITE the working class.
These are the issues that are life or death for the American people.
We’ve got to start looking to the future and making sure that working people – not just the wealthy – are going to be secure.
Advances in technology shouldn’t lead to plant closings or leave remaining workers working harder than before.
We should be the masters of technology – not let it master us.
Or force us to work even more for less money.
Management – and behind them, the billionaire class – seeks to control our LIVES. They seek to control our TIME. They seek to control our GOVERNMENT. They seek to control our SOCIETY.
You all are here because given the choice between union solidarity and management domination, you have chosen UNION. You have chosen SOLIDARITY.
In 2024, we face a major choice as a society.
I know some people want to ignore this election; they don’t want to have anything to do with politics.
Other people want to argue endlessly about the latest headline or scandal or stupid quote.
Elections aren’t about picking your best friend for the job, or the CANDIDATE who makes you feel good.
Elections are about POWER.
We’ve spent this week talking about our political priorities and where we’re going as a union.
And we’ve shown in our Stand Up Strike that we know how to win against the boss.
But there’s a bigger boss out there. It’s the billionaire class and their backers here in Washington, DC.
That’s what we’re up against.
So, we’re gonna fight like hell for retirement security for the whole working class.
We’re gonna organize and mobilize and make our voices heard.
This November, we can STAND UP and elect someone who wants to stand with us and support our cause.
Or we can elect someone who will divide us and fight us every step of the way.
That’s what this choice is about. The question is, who do we want in that office to give us the best shot of winning?
Of organizing. Of negotiating strong contracts. Of uniting the working class and winning our fair share once again, as our union has done so many times in our nation’s history.
Today, I want to talk about the choice we likely face in the Presidential Election this year.
And I don’t want to talk about who you like, who you don’t like, the latest headline, or the Democrats or Republicans.
I want to talk about the TRACK RECORD.
I want to talk about THE FACTS.
Our Stand Up Strike captured the imagination of this country.
Because we told the TRUTH about corporate greed.
We said what needed to be said.
And we talked about the FACTS that matter to working class people everywhere, in the UAW and beyond.
So, when we talk about this election, let’s take a look at the candidates’ own words and actions.
In 2008, the auto industry faced a historic crisis. We were on the edge of total collapse, with entire communities devastated, hundreds of thousands of autoworkers’ families left out on the street.
It was our members who sacrificed everything to save the auto industry.
[SLIDE 1]: In that moment, Donald Trump said, quote, “I think that the unions are really, really hurting very badly what’s going on with the auto industry.”
[SLIDE 2]: Joe Biden, having helped save the auto industry, said the nation BET on American autoworkers and won.
[SLIDE 3]: In 2015, when he was first running for President, Trump went even further. He said the concessions we took in the bailout weren’t enough.
He wanted to “rotate” the auto industry out of Michigan so union autoworkers would BEG for our jobs back.
He wanted to put the race to the bottom on steroids to SCREW the American autoworker.
[SLIDE 4]: Also in 2015, we won our first election of a group of skilled trades workers at Volkswagen, where we’re still organizing today.
Volkswagen DEFIED the law and REFUSED to bargain. They dragged it out as long as they could, because they knew Trump’s National Labor Relations Board would UNDO our victory. That set us back a decade.
[SLIDE 5]: President Biden, on the other hand, has made changes at the National Labor Relations Board that have opened new opportunities for organizing.
He has vocally supported workers organizing, and said, at a UAW event: “Join, organize, picket, protest. You have a right to form a union, and you cannot be stopped. You cannot be intimidated.”
It matters who runs the National Labor Relations Board, if we are going to grow our union and organize the unorganized.
But it’s not just about organizing. Let’s talk about plant closures.
[SLIDE 6]: In 2019, at the height of profits, GM closed Lordstown Assembly Plant. GM is to blame, but Trump stood by and let it happen. Worse, he joined in the BEATING after telling Lordstown workers “don’t sell your houses.”
Trump attacked brother David Green, who was then the president of Local 1112, and is now serving as our Region 2B Director. He said our union dues were to blame for the plant closure, when we know that was all about CORPORATE GREED.
[SLIDE 7]: In 2023, the Belvidere Assembly plant was slated for closure by Stellantis.
So, we fought like hell to do the unthinkable: Save Belvidere. And with the power of the Stand Up Strike, we did it.
But we also had the President of the United States by our side every step of the way. Instead of talking trash about our union, Joe Biden stood with us and supported us in our historic victory to save Belvidere and save an entire community.
And let’s talk about making history.
Rarely as a union do you get so clear a choice between two candidates.
In 2019, our members held the line at GM on a national strike for 40 days. Trump was the sitting president.
[SLIDE 8 – BLANK]: Here’s a picture of what Trump said and what actions he took to help the American autoworker, striking at GM when he was president.
[SLIDE 9]: Now here’s a picture of what Trump did to help the American autoworker in 2023 during our historic Stand Up Strike, when he was running for president.
He went to a non-union plant, invited BY THE BOSS, and TRASHED OUR UNION.
[SLIDE 10]: Here’s what Joe Biden did during our Stand Up Strike.
He heard the call and SHOWED UP.
He joined us in solidarity on the picket line, the first time in our nation’s history a sitting president has ever done that.
He said on live national TV, that the Big Three, and I quote, “should go further to ensure RECORD CORPORATE PROFITS mean RECORD CONTRACTS for the UAW.”
So that’s the choice we face.
It’s not about who you like.
It’s not about your party.
It’s not about anything but our BEST SHOT AT TAKING BACK POWER for the working class.
Donald Trump is a SCAB.
Donald Trump is a BILLIONAIRE, and that’s who he represents.
If Donald Trump ever worked in an auto plant, he wouldn’t be a UAW member. He’d be a company man, trying to squeeze the American autoworker.
Donald Trump stands AGAINST everything the UAW stands FOR.
When you go back to our core issues – Wages. Retirement. Health Care. Time.
That’s what this election is about.
Who will stand with us?
And who will stand in our way?
Those are the questions that will win or lose this election.
Those are the questions that will determine the future of our country, and the fate of the working class.
When I first came into office, we made some headlines by saying that our endorsements would be EARNED.
We’ve said we’d stand with whoever stood with us in our contract fight.
Not because somebody was nice to us, and we want to be nice to them.
But because we need to know who’s going to PUT UP and who’s going to SHUT UP.
We need to know who’s going to STAND UP with us.
Joe Biden BET on the American worker and Trump BLAMED the American worker.
We need to know who’s going to sit in the most powerful seat in the world, and help us win as a UNITED working class.
So, if our endorsements must be earned, Joe Biden has earned it.
Today I’m proud to announce that UAW is endorsing Joe Biden for President of the United States.
And I am honored to invite Joe Biden to come address our great union, and join us in our fight for economic and social justice for the UAW and for the whole working class.
UAW family, let’s STAND UP and welcome the man who STOOD UP for us. Please welcome the current President of the United States, the man we will re-elect, Joe Biden!