When asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if he would meet with former President Donald Trump while he is visiting Michigan autoworkers, United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain pointed out the "pathetic irony" in Trump's plan to hold a rally at auto supplier at Drake Enterprises, a non-union business.
Fain's appearance on CNN—in which he stressed that Trump represents "the billionaire class"—is his latest amid the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the three unionized automakers in the United States, which are Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis.
Fain has called for changes such as the end of a tiered employment system that underpays newer employees and improved worker protections against plant closures as electric vehicle production increases, demands Republicans have blamed on President Joe Biden.
You can hear what Fain said in the video below.
Fain said Trump's "track record" affirms that he has never actually been pro-union:
"I find the pathetic irony that the former president is going to hold a rally for union members at a non-union business. And you know, all you have to do is look at his track record. His track record speaks for itself."
"In 2008 during the Great Recession, [Trump] blamed UAW members, he blamed our contracts for everything that was wrong with these companies. That's a complete lie."
"The ultimate show of how much he cares about our workers was in 2019 when he was the president of the United States. Where was he then?"
"Our workers at [General Motors] were on strike for 60 days. For two months, they were out there on the picket lines. I didn't see him hold a rally. I didn't see him stand up at the picket line."
When Blitzer asked Fain if he would meet with Trump while he is in Detroit, Fain made clear that he doesn't "see the point" of meeting with Trump because:
"I don't think [Trump] has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for," concluding that he "serves a billionaire class, and that's what's wrong with this country."
Many applauded Fain's response while criticizing Trump's actions.
Fain's refusal to meet with Trump came a week after he criticized Trump's plan upon learning about it, stressing that the union is "fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers."
Fain said Americans cannot "keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don't have any understanding of what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by and expecting them to solve the problems of the working class."
Republicans like former South Carolina Governor and current 2024 presidential hopeful Nikki Haley have suggested UAW is asking for too much and blamed Biden for being "pro-union."
Despite the substantial profits recorded by these automakers in recent years, this prosperity has not translated into improved conditions for their workforce. For instance, at General Motors, the CEO's salary is a staggering 361 times higher than that of assembly line workers.