Schumer Visits UAW Picket Line

( – With former president Donald Trump surging in the polls, worried Democrats are making an urgent attempt to reconnect with the working class. President Biden made history by becoming the first US leader to join a picket line while in office. Hours later the Senate majority leader pulled the same stunt.

On September 26, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined a United Auto Workers (UAW) picket line in Tappan, New York. Earlier the same day Biden had joined other UAW picketers in Willow Run, Michigan. The car builders’ union is demanding a four-day work week for its members, along with an inflation-busting 40% pay rise.
The Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis — say the demands are unaffordable. However, Biden told workers they “deserve” 40% more money for 20% less work; Schumer had a similar message, telling the strikers his father was a union man and adding, “We are going to persist and we are going to succeed.”

So why have top Democrats suddenly swerved away from woke ideology and gone back in time to the 1970s era of industrial action and unrealistic union demands? One reason suggests itself pretty quickly. It’s likely Biden and Schumer aren’t thinking about the UAW’s demands as much as they are about the union itself. The UAW is big and well-funded, with 150,000 members across the US, a billion-dollar endowment, and a formidable press and campaigning machine to back it all up.

In 2020 it threw its weight behind Biden’s election campaign — but, this time, it’s taking its time about endorsing him. Biden says he’s “not worried” about whether the union backs him in 2024, but his and Schumer’s sudden enthusiasm for blue-collar causes suggests otherwise.

Trump is also courting the UAW, and while union president Shawn Fain is no fan of the former president, many of his members could be tempted by a renewed Trump promise to bring jobs and manufacturing back to the US. If Biden isn’t worried about the UAW, he’s even more out of touch than usual.

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