The United Automobile Workers Union (UAW) has denounced Donald Trump ahead of his plans to skip the GOP’s second presidential primary debate in favor of delivering a speech in Detroit, Michigan during a major auto workers strike.
“Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” said union president Shawn Fain in a statement on Tuesday.
“We can’t keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don’t have any understanding 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,” Fain added.
Last week, the UAW went on strike against the Big Three auto manufacturers — Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis — and staged a 12,700-worker walkout at three facilities. The union, which represents more than 150,000 workers, has made various demands including changes to pay structure, union expansion into planned electric vehicle manufacturing plants, and the revival of benefit programs that were stricken in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
Since the strike was announced Trump, notorious for stiffing contractors and laborers who work on his real estate projects, has been making overtures to the union’s workers. “AUTOWORKERS, VOTE FOR TRUMP – I’LL MAKE YOU VICTORIOUS & RICH” Trump wrote last week on Truth Social, attacking the development of electric vehicles in the process.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday morning that Trump is planning to skip the Republican primary debate scheduled for September 27, and would instead fly to Detroit to deliver a speech before a crowd of blue-collar workers.
The decision fits in with the former president’s strategy of creating flashy counterprogramming to overshadow his rivals on debate night. Instead of attending the RNC’s first debate in August, Trump sat down for an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. As previously reported by Rolling Stone the decision was likely a strategic move by Trump to punish Fox’s owners, the Murdoch family, for a perceived lack of loyalty. A collaboration with Carlson, who was fired from the network in April, added an additional stab of pettiness to the snub.