Biden to make rare presidential visit to striking workers days before Trump event in Michigan

President Joe Biden will head to Michigan to support striking autoworkers on Tuesday.

Mr Biden the made a statement on X as the United Auto Workers expands its strike across multiple plants.

“Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create,” he said. “It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs.”

Earlier in the day, Mr Biden’s campaign posted a video quoting candidates for the Republican nomination for president Nikki Haley and Tim Scott where they criticised Mr Biden’s support for union jobs.

Last week, Mr Biden spoke in support of the auto workers as the union began holding its first strikes.

Leaders for the United Auto Workers had previously invited the president to join the picket line. Mr Biden’s visit will be the first time in more than a century that a president so visibly supported striking workers. The last president do so was Theodore Roosevelt, who invited striking coal workers to the White House in 1902, Reuters reported.

Thousands of UAW workers launched simultaneous strikes at midnight on 14 September at three facilities operated by Ford, General Motors and Stellantis-owned Chrysler.

On 22 September, the union — which represents nearly 150,000 workers — announced an expansion of the strike to 38 parts and distribution locations across 20 states.

Union officials and auto companies remain far apart in negotiations over wages, benefits and worker schedules, among other issues. Leaders are asking for a 36 per cent pay increase over four years to match the growth of executive pay, as well as a 32-hour workweek, a return to traditional pensions, the elimination of compensation tiers and a restoration of annual and automatic cost-of-living adjustments, among other benefits.

Last week, Mr Biden threw his support behind striking auto workers. Mr Biden has previously pledged to be the most “pro-union” president. Mr Biden said that auto companies had seen record profits but that workers have not reaped the benefits.

“Those record profits have not been shared fairly, in my view, with those workers,” he said. “Auto workers … deserve a contract that sustains them and the middle class.”

Mr Biden’s visit will come one day before former president Donald Trump hold a rally in Detroit instead of attending the second Republican presidential primary debate.

But Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller blasted Mr Biden’s visit and said he only visited because Mr Trump was coming to Detroit.

“If President Trump had said nothing, Biden would be giving UAW workers in Michigan ‘the East Palestine treatment,’” he said referring to a train derailment in the village in Ohio. Many conservatives criticised Mr Biden for not visiting the area.

Similarly, Mr Miller blamed Mr Biden’s electric vehicle mandates for the plight of auto workers.

“Biden is still hell-bent on destroying all of the auto jobs he’s purporting to care about,” he said. “His visit on Tuesday is completely meaningless unless he withdraws his Insane EV Mandate and rebukes his Green New Deal, which Biden will never do because he's beholden to the Radical Left Eco-Loons in California. Joe Biden cares more about his extremist liberal base than he does about auto workers in Michigan or anywhere else in the United States.”

Alex Woodward contributed reporting