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Home / Business / Warren and Biden close to U.A.W. Pickets as Democrats use strike to bring work to court

Warren and Biden close to U.A.W. Pickets as Democrats use strike to bring work to court

DETROIT – Democratic presidential candidates searched for workers throughout the summer, appearing in small trade union halls and major conferences, and twittered workers from companies such as Amazon and Walmart. But now, with the United Automobile Workers, one of the country's largest unions, staging a strike even backed by President Trump, the Democrats are taking the moment to publicly and dramatically align with the workers.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was on Sunday at the picket line with striking General Motors workers at an assembly plant in Detroit. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. joined another GM. Assembly plant in Kansas City Kan.

The picket visits of two of the leading nominees for Democratic nomination – with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the third, planning to join striking workers in Detroit Wednesday – highlighted the importance for Democrats of supporting simple union members including those who voted in favor of Mr Trump in 2016.

She brought her message of combating inequality for the fourth time since June to Michigan Warren joined a group of striking auto workers wearing a blue-and-white "UAW On Strike" sign. As they crossed the entrance to the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant where Cadillacs and Chevrolets are being built, the workers shouted, "We are the union, the powerful, powerful union. U.A.W. stay strong. "

wife. Warren criticized G.M. for the closure of plants with a profit in the billions. "GM shows that it has no loyalty to the workers of America or the people of America," she said. "Their only loyalty is to their own bottom line, and if they can save a nickel by doing a job in Mexico, Asia or anywhere else embarrassed on this planet, they will do it. "

" Everyone deserves a living wage in this country, "she said," let's be clear that the unions have built the middle class of America and the unions the middle class of America again

UAW leaders in Detroit voted unanimously to approve the strike a week ago, the union's first strike since 2007. The union is urging GM to raise wages, reopen some plants, and create jobs in others and to reduce the pay gap between new hires and experienced workers, with nearly 50,000 East connected to factories in the south and in the Midwest.

Every major Democratic presidential candidate has expressed support for the striking workers, and several have used pickets to address union members who may have switched their support to Mr. Trump. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar arrived in Detroit on Thursday while Representative Tim Ryan from Ohio traveled to several in his home state and Flint, Michigan. On Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, Mr Biden wore a red T-shirt out of solidarity. He referred to the rescue of General Motors during the Obama administration and told the crowd, "We saved GM, UAW GM!" He continued to lament the high pay of the company executives and the lack of reasonable benefits for the workers and workers encouraged the striking workers to admit "that you make a hell of the victim." [19659002] "There is only one reason why we have a middle class, and it's called UNION," he said, and the crowd cheered. [19659002] The support of auto workers for the Democratic Party has declined slightly in recent years, and estimates have estimated that around 30 percent of unionists voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 – slightly more than the share allocated to the previous two Republican

The exit of these Democratic Party voters, even when the union officially endorsed Hillary Clinton It was of particular importance to Mr. Trump in Michigan. Nearly three years later it is unclear how many of these unionists continue to support the President . The economy has generally remained strong and unemployment has reached a 20-year low.

Representative of Democrat Debbie Dingell, representing a district outside Detroit where several auto manufacturing operations are based, said Mr. Trump's support among auto workers had remained fairly stable.

However, she believed that a prolonged strike could shift the number of presidents among these workers one way or the other, depending on whether they considered him as needy or hurtful. [19659005] "If he feels he is trying to keep the plants open and successful, it could have a positive impact," Ms. Dingell said.

In 2016, Ms. Dingell was a lonely voice among the Democrats in Michigan as she voiced concern that Mr. Trump could carry the state, she even went so far as to hold a meeting with Democratic legislators in her election weeks ago District to warn them not to underestimate his vocation. [1965900] 2] Woman. Dingell said she has often heard of auto workers at dozens of community gatherings in 2016, that they were "with Donald" and that they believed that the trade was sincere in his heart.

Mr. Trump said last week that the strike would be "quick". He complained about General Motors' decision to close domestic plants and open factories offshore, and announced that the company would close four plants in the United States last November.

"I have a tremendous number of votes from the auto workers," Mr. Trump told reporters in the White House. "I do not want General Motors to build plants outside of the country, they know they've built a lot of plants in China and Mexico, and I do not like that at all."

While Mr. Trump ran as a worker's friend, some said Union leaders, that is a largely empty rhetoric. In an interview recently published in Fox News, Richard Trumka, the president of A.F.L.C.I.O., criticized workers' inaction regarding the minimum wage. During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump said he supports raising the federal minimum wage from the current $ 7.25 per hour to $ 10.

"He is against any increase in the minimum wage," said Mr. Trumka. "He changed the ruling to take overtime for a few million people, and he proposed a $ 1 trillion cutback on Medicare and Medicaid, which he took back the health and safety standards for the workers."

A crowd of about 200 was waiting On a sunny day on the arrival of Mrs. Warren and locked the entrance to the disused factory Some sang to a recording of Aretha Franklin's "Respect," The GM-directed message administration Many wore red T-shirts reading "Solidarity, no In many ways, Mrs. Warren's central message, which emphasizes the struggles of middle and low income Americans, appeals to the same frustrations as Mr. Trump's foothold in 2016 – pent-up anger over an economy and a system.

that the workers consider unfair.

"For me personally, that's a lot bigger than GM and the car Workers, "said Mike Mucci, a worker on picket duty Sunday in front of the Detroit plant. "This is a fight for the middle class."

Mr. 43-year-old Mucci, who said he was not a fan of Mr. Trump, predicted that the president would "do everything possible to honor the rescue of the United Arab Emirates".

Robert Hatline, 61, a retired G.M. Workers who voted for Ms. Clinton in 2016 were impressed with Ms. Warren's plan to offer a free public college. "I like what she says when she can," he said. "I want the student loans for these children to be cut."

Carla Duckett, 60, a team leader on the Cadillac line here, said she would support Democrats in the United Arab Emirates. advocated. "All I know is that we have to support the Democrats this time," she said.

wife. Klobuchar, who delivered donuts Thursday when visiting the picket line, described how G.M. Workers had suffered during the economic downturn and how the company had "recovered".

G.M. Last year, there were plans to close down the four plants, including the plant in Lordstown. Hundreds of workers decided to move to another G.M. Institutions. The Hamtramck plant, which produces the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac CT6, is scheduled to shut down in January.

The shut down works have become a topic in the negotiations, whereby the workers also G.M. In order to improve wages, create jobs in other institutions, shoulder a larger share of employees' health costs and reduce or reduce the difference between salary rates for new hires and experienced workers.

In 2009, after the financial crisis, and after unions' concessions, many G.M. Workers have said that they regard the decisions as particularly dismissive. The company paid most of the money back to the government.

Democratic presidential candidates joined pickets in previous strikes, including the McDonald's strike in May and the Stop & Shop strike in April, calling for union support.

] But with a few exceptions – the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America endorsed Mr. Sanders last month, and the National Fire Brigade in April approved former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. – the unions have many held back and waited until they saw which democratic candidate wins the support of ordinary people.

Maggie Astor, Neal E. Boudette, Katie Glueck and Noam Scheiber contributed to the coverage.

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