DETROIT — The United Auto Workers union said Tuesday that it is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for president, citing an "assault on worker rights to organize and fair wages" under President Donald Trump.
The union said it chose to endorse Biden because of his experience under the Obama administration during the 2009 auto bailout and "anti-worker federal appointees" by the Trump administration.
"In these dangerous and difficult times, the country needs a president who will demonstrate clear, stable leadership, less partisan acrimony and more balance to the rights and protections of working Americans," UAW President Rory Gamble said in a statement.
The endorsement by the UAW, which represents more than 400,000 workers, is a win for Biden but not unexpected. The union historically endorses Democrats for president, including Hillary Clinton in 2016 and two-term former President Barack Obama.
The Trump campaign, in an email response to the UAW's endorsement, said that while Biden "may have the support of union leaders," the "workers know that it was under President Trump's leadership that jobs increased and wages grew."
"Workers will be reminded that Biden voted for NAFTA and shipped hundreds of thousand[s] of jobs overseas," the Trump campaign said. "And they know President Trump always puts America first, that his policies built the greatest economy in history before it was artificially interrupted, and that he is the only one who can restore us to that position again."
Despite the UAW endorsing Clinton four years ago, blue-collar workers such as those in the union assisted Trump in winning office, including a surprising victory in the union's home state of Michigan. Trump, a Republican, has continued to tout the support of auto workers and other unions, as many have voiced support for his America-first policies. He also won the support of the AFL-CIO union federation for the revised U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
However, Trump has not fulfilled campaign promises of auto manufacturing and jobs returning from Mexico. Most notably, Trump told a crowd at a rally in Ohio in 2017 that jobs were "all coming back." Two years later, General Motors shut down its massive Lordstown assembly plant in the state.