Biden traveling to Illinois to meet with auto workers

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 4:54 PM EST

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Biden is traveling to Belvidere, Illinois on Thursday where he will reach out to auto workers and discuss the historic tentative labor agreements reached between the UAW and the Big 3 automakers.

The trip will serve as a reminder to union workers of the President’s staunch support and commitment to one of his key voting blocs with the 2024 election less than a year away.

Shawn Fain, president of UAW, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker will also be in attendance as President Biden celebrates the reopening of a Stellantis assembly plant alongside auto workers. Ben LaBolt, White House Communications Director, previewed the president’s remarks, “he believes in building the economy from the middle out and the bottom up. He thinks that unions built the middle class and that the middle class built this country. And so when he goes to places like Belvidere and meets with the auto workers, that’s really who is advocating for here in the White House

The President is almost certain to remind autoworkers that he joined the UAW picket line alongside striking workers in Michigan back in late September. LaBolt notes that now change is coming for the autoworkers of Illinois, “ Belvidere, thousands of workers will be coming back to work. Some will be producing midsize SUV, some will be producing electric batteries in the state of Illinois.”

The nearly 45-day strike produced significant pay raises for about 150,000 workers at GM, Ford and Stellantis. Despite siding with the UAW, President Biden has yet to receive the union’s endorsement as he seeks reelection, pushing the message that he’s stood by and delivered for unionized, blue-collar workers.

Fain will address union members at 3 p.m. Wednesday on Facebook Live for an update on contract ratification votes involving 146,000 members at GM, Ford and Stellantis.