United Auto Workers union backs Democrat Biden for president

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Joe Biden

FILE – In this March 15, 2020, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden, participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., not seen, at CNN Studios in Washington. This may be the best of times politically for Biden, who won three massive endorsements over the last week, none bigger than former rival Bernie Sanders. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is endorsing Democrat Joe Biden for President.

The roughly 400,000-member union says in a statement Tuesday that the nation needs stable leadership with less acrimony “and more balance to the rights and protections of working Americans.”

The union says Biden has committed to reining in corporate power over workers, encouraging collective bargaining, and making sure workers get the pay, benefits and protections they deserve. Biden also has committed to expand access to affordable health care, the union said.

Union negotiators are currently in talks with Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler about restarting U.S. factories that have been closed for the past month due to fears of spreading the coronavirus. “This issue demonstrates the need for presidential leadership to follow the guidance of science and give workers a seat in discussions over their safety and well-being,” the union’s statement said.

In its own statement, President Donald Trump’s campaign said Biden voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement, and said workers know Trump always puts America first.

The UAW usually backs Democratic candidates, but internal polls showed just over 30% of its members voted Republican in the past three presidential elections.

The union represents about 150,000 workers with Detroit’s three automakers. But its membership also includes factory workers in other industries as well as nurses, casino workers, and university graduate assistants.

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