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In metro Detroit, national AFL-CIO head blasts Trump before his Michigan visit

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In metro Detroit, national AFL-CIO head blasts Trump before his Michigan visit

Sep 27, 2023 | 8:04 pm ET
By Ken Coleman
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In metro Detroit, national AFL-CIO head blasts Trump before his Michigan visit
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AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on Wednesday with striking United Auto Workers (UAW) Detroit Three employees in Wayne. | AFL-CIO photo

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on Wednesday visited striking United Auto Workers (UAW) employees in metro Detroit. There, she blasted GOP former President Donald Trump only hours ahead of his visit to Clinton Township at a non-union plant in Macomb County. 

“The idea that Donald Trump has ever, or will ever, care about working people is demonstrably false,” Shuler said at UAW Local 900’s headquarters in Wayne, a stone’s throw from Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant. 

UAW president says Trump visit to non-union Michigan company is a ‘pathetic irony’

“For his entire time as president, he actively sought to roll back worker protections, wages and the right to join a union at every level. UAW members are on the picket line fighting for fair wages and against the very corporate greed that Donald Trump represents. Working people see through his transparent efforts to reinvent history. We are not buying the lies that Donald Trump is selling. We will continue to support and organize for the causes and candidates that represent our values.”

Trump is scheduled to speak at a non-union automotive parts manufacturer and supplier. He chose to skip the second GOP presidential candidate debate, which is slated for Wednesday in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

UAW President Shawn Fain also slammed Trump prior to his visit and declined to meet with him.

The UAW represents about 150,000 members across the country. For the first time in the union’s 88-year history, all three Detroit automakers — Stellantis, Ford and General Motors — are the strike targets.

The labor union is fighting for increased wages, a 32-hour work week and better pension benefits, among other issues such as an end to tiered compensation between workers with different lengths of service.

It is week two of the strike that includes 41 locations across 21 states. Fourteen of them are located in Michigan.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday made an appearance on the picket line in Belleville. Speaking to picketers from UAW Local 174 at Willow Run Redistribution Center in metro Detroit, Biden said that unions “saved the automobile industry” in times of recession and helped establish the American middle class. 

“Wall Street didn’t build the country; the middle class built the country,” Biden said. “And unions built the middle class.”