Detroit Evening Report: Biden arrives in Metro Detroit, meets with UAW members at picket line

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President Joe Biden joins striking United Auto Workers on the picket line, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Van Buren Township, Mich.

President Joe Biden joins striking United Auto Workers on the picket line, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Van Buren Township, Mich.

President Joe Biden visited Metro Detroit Tuesday afternoon for a historic stop to speak with UAW strikers at a picket line.

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Air Force One arrived at Detroit Metro Airport around 12:15 this afternoon. After leaving the plane, Biden spent several minutes on the tarmac talking to members of Congress, including Rashida Tlaib, Shri Thanedar and Debbie Dingell. Lt. Gov. Garland Gilchrist and UAW President Shawn Fain were also present.

Biden and Fain later spoke to UAW members outside General Motor’s Willow Run parts plant in Belleville. Biden told the crowd that since Detroit’s automakers are doing better financially, autoworkers should too.

“Let me say many times — Wall Street didn’t build the country…the middle class built the country,” the President said. “The unions built the middle class. That’s a fact. So let’s keep going. You deserve what you’ve earned and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid now. Thank you very much.”

Fain thanked Biden for standing with union members.

Today marks the 12th day of the UAW strike against Detroit’s Big Three. Thousands of workers walked off the job at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, the Jeep plant in Toledo and at a GM assembly plant in Wentzville, Mo. on September 15. Another 38 GM and Stellantis parts facilities across 20 states were added to the strike list last week. Ford was spared from the additional strikes because negotiations have made some progress, according to Fain.

Key issues include pay, benefits and job security as contract talks continue.

Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive in Metro Detroit on Wednesday to speak with former and current union members at Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township. The former U.S. president will skip the Republican presidential debate for the second consecutive time.

Other headlines for Sept. 26, 2023:

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  • Jerome Vaughn
    Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. His interest in news reporting began when he was five years old, after his mom bought him a yellow Panasonic ball and chain radio.