Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers
Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers, arrives to speak at a union conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., on January 24, 2024.
(Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

After UAW Backs Biden, Trump Calls Shawn Fain 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

The UAW leader has slammed the Republican as as "scab" and said that "I can't fathom any union would support Donald Trump for president."

In the wake of the United Auto Workers' recent endorsement of Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden over his likely Republican challenger former President Donald Trump, the latter has repeatedly taken aim at UAW president Shawn Fain.

Fain is a "weapon of mass destruction" on autoworkers and the U.S. auto manufacturing industry, Trump declared on his social media platform Monday afternoon, adding: "Is he under contract to China, because they will be getting almost all of our 'car making' business within a very short period of time. All autoworkers should VOTE FOR TRUMP. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

That came after Trump on Sunday night also used the platform to attack Fain, who had appeared on CBS News' "Face the Nation" earlier that day to explain the union's decision to endorse Biden for reelection last week.

Trump concluded the lengthy post that touched on China and Biden's electric vehicle policy with: "Shawn Fain doesn't... have a clue. Get rid of this dope and vote for DJT. I will bring the automobile industry back to our country."

During "Face the Nation," Margaret Brennan noted Biden is aiming to repeat his 2016 win in Michigan, a swing state that is the heart of the U.S. auto industry but also home to many Muslims and Arab Americans outraged by his support for Israel's war on the Gaza Strip.

"When you look at these two candidates, it's very clear the difference between both of them," said Fain, whose union has called for a cease-fire in Gaza. "One of them, President Biden, has always bet on the American worker and stood with the American worker, and he proved that during this presidency. He stood up with us, for the first time in U.S. history, we had a sitting president join striking workers on the picket line."

While Biden joined the union's "Stand Up" strike last year against the Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis—Trump bashed the UAW in a speech at a nonunion plant in Michigan.

UAW members approved the Big Three contracts in November and since then more than 10,000 nonunion autoworkers at other companies have signed cards signaling that they want to join the union, which has around 400,000 active members.

Brennan noted Sunday that the UAW estimated in 2016 that 28% of members voted for Trump and asked Fain if he thought the GOP leader would see similar support this year. He responded, "I think it'll be less."

"I believe the overwhelming majority of UAW members and working-class people, when the facts and the truth are put in front of them, will support Joe Biden for president. That's why we made this decision," he added. "Joe Biden has a history of serving others, and serving the working class, and fighting for the working class, standing with the working class. Donald Trump has a history of serving himself and standing for the billionaire class. And that's contrary to everything that working-class people stand for."

"When you look at the issues during our contract campaign—retirement security, better wages, healthcare, wanting our time back, wanting our lives back—that's what matters," he continued. "That's why 75% of the American public stood with the UAW in our fight, and I believe that's why a huge majority of our members and working-class people will side with President Joe Biden in the upcoming election."

After Brennan pointed out that Teamsters president Sean O'Brien has met with Trump, Fain said that "I can't fathom any union would support Donald Trump for president."

Fain's comments echoed his appearance on Fox News last week and his speech at a UAW conference in Washington, D.C., where he announced the endorsement decision, joined by Biden. During that address, the union leader called Trump a ''scab," a derogatory term for someone who crosses a picket line.

"Donald Trump is a billionaire, and that's who he represents," said Fain, who has railed against the wealthy and political elites. "If Donald Trump ever worked in an auto plant, he wouldn't be a UAW member. He'd be a company man, trying to squeeze the American worker. Donald Trump stands against everything we stand for as a union, as a society."

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