According to the Michigan AFL-CIO, Donald Trump’s team allocated $20,000 to organize a rally at Drake Enterprises, a non-union auto parts supplier in Michigan, in September. This event appeared to be an effort to win over the support of union auto workers, coming a day after President Biden made headlines as the first sitting president to join a picket line.
However, the rally at Drake Enterprises did not seem to resonate with the intended audience, as journalists covering the event reported a noticeable absence of auto workers among the attendees.
This led to criticism from Aaron PELO, the Communications Director for the Michigan AFL-CIO, who remarked on the irony of having to pay to use a non-union venue for lack of support, highlighting what he saw as a disconnect between Trump’s proclaimed advocacy for blue-collar Americans and his actions.
The Detroit News reported instances that underscored the lack of genuine support from the very demographic Trump purported to champion. At the rally, individuals holding signs proclaiming their support as “union members for Trump” and “auto workers for Trump” admitted they were neither union members nor auto workers.
The Michigan AFL-CIO, representing over a million union members and their families across forty labor organizations, eighteen central labor councils, and eight constituency groups, stands as a significant voice for labor rights in Michigan.
The importance of the auto worker vote in Michigan cannot be overstated, especially in a political climate where the support of blue-collar workers is often seen as a key indicator of electoral success. The auto industry, being a cornerstone of Michigan’s economy, means that the stance of auto workers on political candidates can significantly influence election outcomes.