‘He Serves the Billionaire Class’: UAW President Says He Won’t Meet With Trump

United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain

United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain addresses striking autoworkers at a General Motors Service Parts Operations plant in Belleville, Michigan on September 26, 2023. 

(Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

“All you have to do is look at his track record,” said United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain. “His track record speaks for itself.”


Sep 27, 2023 (CommonDreams.org)

United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain said Tuesday that he will not be meeting with Donald Trump when the former president visits Michigan, pointing to his long history of anti-worker rhetoric and policies.

“I see no point in meeting with him because I don’t think the man has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for,” Fain said in a CNN appearance. “He serves the billionaire class, and that’s what’s wrong with this country.”

Fain’s remarks came hours before Trump’s scheduled address Wednesday night at Drake Enterprises, a nonunion auto parts manufacturer in Clinton Township, Michigan. A national UAW spokesperson toldHuffPost that the union—which is nearly two weeks into its strikes against the Big Three U.S. automakers—doesn’t represent any workers at Drake Enterprises, but the facility “could be home to other unions.”

In his CNN interview, Fain said he finds it a “pathetic irony” that Trump—who has repeatedly bashed the UAW’s leadership—is holding a purportedly pro-worker event at a nonunion business.

“All you have to do is look at his track record,” said Fain. “His track record speaks for itself. In 2008 during the Great Recession, he blamed UAW members. He blamed our contracts for everything that was wrong with these companies. That’s a complete lie. In 2015 when he was running for president, he talked about doing a rotation, taking all these good-paying jobs in the Midwest and moving them somewhere in the South where people work for less money, and then to make people beg for their jobs back at lower wages.”

“And the ultimate show of how much he cares about our workers was in 2019 when he was the president of the United States,” Fain continued. “Where was he then? GM—our workers at GM were on strike for 60 days. For two months, they were out there on the picket lines. I didn’t see him hold a rally. I didn’t see him stand up at the picket line. And I sure as hell didn’t hear him comment about it. He’s missing in action.”

Earlier Tuesday, President Joe Biden joined Fain and striking autoworkers on the picket line outside of a General Motors plant in Belleville, Michigan. Labor historians say Biden is the first sitting U.S. president to walk a picket line with striking workers.

The UAW has not endorsed a candidate in the 2024 presidential race, and Fain told CNN that his comments on Trump were “not an endorsement for anyone.”

“It’s just flat-out how I view the former president,” he said.

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Jake Johnson is a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams.

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