The head of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union slammed Republican talking points about gender and immigration Monday as the union weighs whether to endorse President Biden.
At a Monday conference in Washington, D.C., UAW President Shawn Fain criticized what he described as efforts to “divide” the working class over issues like gender and sexuality, as well as border security, referencing key GOP issues without mentioning the party by name.
“They try to divide us by gender,” Fain said at the union’s National CAP Conference. “They act like how you live your life, or your gender identity, is a threat to the person on the assembly line next to you or the worksite next to you.”
“They talk about who you love, who you marry, which bathroom you use, so they don’t have to talk about who you work for, where the profits go and who benefits,” he continued.
Fain also slammed efforts to “divide us nationally, by nationality” with immigration. His comments come as Republicans have increasingly pressured Biden to take action to stem the flow of migrants at the southern border, which the GOP has often described as a “crisis.”
“Right now, we have millions of people being told that the biggest threat to their livelihood is migrants coming over the border,” the UAW chief said. “The threat we face at the border isn’t from the migrants. It’s from the billionaires and the politicians getting working people to point the finger at one another.”
“This gets personal for me,” he added. “Every time I see this shit on the TVs and stuff about the border security and that being a major issue in this election. It’s not. It’s a joke. It’s done nothing but to divide the people.”
While Fain took aim at several Republican talking points, he offered no indication about where the UAW stands on endorsing Biden. The union, which endorsed the then-presidential candidate in 2020, has yet to back Biden this time around.
However, the UAW is reportedly expected to consider endorsing the president at this week’s conference, according to The Washington Post.
Biden, who has previously touted his record as “the most pro-union president in American history,” became the first sitting president to join a picket line in September when he spoke to striking UAW members in Michigan.
The union launched a strike against three major automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — after its contract expired in mid-September. The UAW reached deals with all three major U.S. car companies in late October after six weeks of striking.