Joe Biden Becomes First Sitting President To Join A Picket Line

Joe Biden Becomes First Sitting President To Join A Picket Line

Joe Biden just became the first U.S. President to join a picket line. On Tuesday afternoon, the President met with United Auto Workers union members and their president, Shawn Fain, at a picket outside a GM plant in Wayne Country, Michigan as the strike enters its second week.

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Biden spoke only briefly through a bullhorn between two stints of greeting striking auto workers. Overall, the crowd seemed pretty happy to see him there. I mean, why not? Biden does call himself the most pro-union President of all time (as long as you ignore the rail workers thing).

“The fact of the matter is that you guys – the UAW – you saved the automotive industry back in 2008. [You] made a lot of sacrifices, gave up a lot, and the companies were in trouble,” Biden said to the crowd of picketers. “But now, they’re doing incredibly well, and guess what, you should be doing incredibly well too.”

WATCH: Biden visits UAW picket lines

According to Automotive News, Fain invited Biden to the picket line last week when he expanded the strike against General Motors and Stellantis. The two have had a bit of an odd relationship thus far. Fain has withheld his endorsement of Biden so far, saying the union’s support would be “earned, not freely given.” Shortly after Air Force One touched down in Michigan, a reporter asked him about the topic, and Biden reportedly said he wasn’t “worried about that.”

Fain has also reportedly kept the White House at arm’s length as negotiations have gone on. He was apparently not too happy about Biden’s previous plan to send aides to Detroit, something which never ended up happening.

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The White House says that Biden does not have any meetings scheduled with auto executives while he’s in Michigan, according to Automotive News.

It should be added, that this isn’t the first time Biden joined a UAW picket line. Back in 2019, when he was running for President, Biden joined up in the midst of a 40-day strike against GM, so this isn’t exactly unexpected from the 46th president.

“Folks stick with it because you deserve the significant raise you need and other benefits. Let’s get back what we lost, okay?” Biden said to the crowd. “It’s about time for them to step up for us.”