The powerful auto union United Auto Workers (UAW) has strongly attacked Donald Trump in light of the Republican’s rally at a vehicle supplier in Michigan. “I find it a pathetic irony that the former president would hold a rally for union members at a non-union company,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in advance on CNN. “You just have to look at his track record – his track record speaks for itself.”

Trump, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, was out in the battleground state of Michigan on Wednesday evening (local time) to win over working-class voters, while his primary competition dueled in their second TV debate in California. “Under no circumstances will I allow the American auto industry to die,” the 77-year-old announced at Drake Enterprises, a non-union auto supplier near Detroit. Trump’s appearance came a day after his successor in the White House, Joe Biden, became the first sitting US president to visit a picket line.

Just hours before Trump’s visit to Drake Enterprises, the UAW posted a video online protesting the Detroit automaker’s plant closures. The clip also includes footage from 2017 of then-President Trump promising a crowd in Ohio that lost auto jobs would return under his administration. Two years later, General Motors closed a large assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, costing thousands of jobs.

“I don’t think he cares one bit about working class people. I think he cares about the billionaire class, he cares about corporate interests,” Fain commented in advance of Trump’s rally. “I think he’s just trying to flatter people and tell people what they want to hear, and that’s a disgrace.”

During the 2008 recession, Trump blamed UAW members for economic woes and blamed their contracts for everything that was wrong with the companies, the union leader said. That was a complete lie.

“The ultimate proof of how much Trump cares about our workers was in 2019 when he was President of the United States. Where was he?” Fain asked. “Our workers [at General Motors] went on strike for 60 days. They were on the picket line for two months. I didn’t see him hold a rally. I didn’t see him show up at the picket lines.”

Despite its strong attacks against Trump, the UAW has so far held back from a statement of support for the 2024 presidential election. “We’re 100 percent focused right now on getting a good deal for our members,” Fain told CNN. “We’ll do endorsements and things like that in due course. There’s still work to be done.”

Quellen: United Auto Workers, Associated Press, CNBC