AOC praises Biden for picketing with auto workers in Michigan

Progressive New York Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised President Joe Biden for picketing with auto workers in Michigan, saying it showed that momentum is on the side of labour.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist and member of the Squad, told The Independent Mr Biden’s support for workers was a positive development.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “This is a historic moment. Never in American history have we seen a sitting US president support and show up at a picket line. I think this is a very strong signal that the tide is changing.”

Mr Biden joined the United Auto Workers on a picket line outside a General Motors factory in Belleville, just outside Detroit. Mr Biden’s visit was the first time in modern history that a president has joined a picket line for striking workers.

Specifically, Mr Biden cited how auto workers made numerous concessions during the 2008 financial crisis when the US government provided federal relief for the industry.

“The fact of the matter is is that you guys – the UAW – saved the automobile industry back in 2008 ... you gave up a lot and the companies were in trouble, but now they’re doing incredibly well,” he said on Tuesday. “And guess what? You should be doing incredibly well, too.”

Plenty of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sens John Fetterman (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Gary Peters (D-MI), have joined auto workers on the picket line in recent days.

“You saved them, now it’s time that they step up for us,” Mr Biden said.

Former president Donald Trump plans to visit Michigan to support striking auto workers, albeit his event will not be a union event. Other Republicans including Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) have supported the strike.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez also criticised Republicans in the House who are calling for the defunding of the Justice Department’s investigations into Mr Trump.

“I mean, at this point, they're just abusing their seats in Congress,” she said.