United Auto Workers union members unwilling to back Biden: Government 'hasn't been delivering'

Biden joined the UAW picket line in September

Some United Auto Workers (UAW) members are still unwilling to support President Biden in November, despite the union endorsement him, and are planning to vote for former President Trump instead.

"The government seems to be appeasing the coast, everyone who lives in Manhattan thinks everyone should drive an electric car," Chris Vitale, a UAW member who works at Chrysler, told CNN's John King. 

"I've watched this region go from the arsenal of democracy, and now we're happy if we can get a sports stadium or we're going to sell weed or fireworks or whatever, it's absolutely pathetic what we have sunk to now. And our politicians, they're good with it. He [Donald Trump] isn't, and that's the difference," Vitale added.


UAW worker

CNN's John King spoke to several members of the UAW during a Wednesday, June 13, 2024, segment. (Screenshot/CNN)

King also talked to a UAW voter who said he might consider Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — unless voting for him meant helping Biden win. 

"The powers that be label me as some far right, White supremacist, MAGA Republican. And you’re still entitled to your opinion, but I just don't see him [Trump] as the anti-Christ or Hitler. That's ridiculous," Bill Govier told CNN. 

Bob King, who served as UAW president in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, said there was significant support for Trump in the union because many workers feel the government hasn't delivered for them. 

"People feel like the government and the establishment hasn‘t been delivering for them. Is life better there now than it was 10 years ago or worse? And for many, many working people, it‘s worse. Their standard of living has deteriorated in some cases, their communities have deteriorated," he told CNN.

John King also spoke to two UAW members who were planning to support Biden this fall.


Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. (Getty Images)

placeholderThe UAW went on strike for several weeks in September, demanding increased wages and a shorter work week. Biden joined them, making him the first president to join a picket line. 

Tonya Rincon said that "showed solidarity with everyday men and women putting their lives on the line and putting their paychecks on the line for a better living."

"It mattered," she added. 

However, she said it was unlikely to move the needle in the president's favor inside the auto plant where she works. She predicted a 50-50 split between Biden and Trump. 

The UAW eventually reached a deal that increased wages following the strike.

Another union member, Walter Robinson Jr., said Trump couldn't relate to UAW workers.

"He's never done a hard day's work, not physical work, like you do in a plant. He has a solid gold toilet at home, so I mean, how can he really empathize with your life?" he said during the media appearance. 

Robinson said the UAW's contract wins helped, but that it didn't fix everything, citing inflation

"Gas prices are still pretty high. Food, when you go to the grocery store, every time, it's just me and my wife and it's $200 every time I go to the grocery store," said Robinson, who works as a DJ on the side to earn extra money.

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