Shawn Fain

2 minute read
By Joe Biden

Last September in Michigan, UAW president Shawn Fain told his fellow striking workers, “In this union, the members are the highest authority. In this country, the people are the highest authority.” I know because I was there when he said it, as the first American President to walk a picket line.

Shawn and I share a basic view of how workers deserve to be treated. Just as they sacrificed when their employers were on the brink, they deserve record contracts when those companies have record profits. It’s only fair.

The historic wage increases the UAW won under Shawn’s leadership carry forward the powerful legacy of labor leader and fellow UAW president Walter Reuther, and have led virtually every auto-maker across the country to follow suit. They remind us that when unions win, all workers benefit.

Shawn represents the hard-won success that unions—from the Teamsters, to the SEIU, to writers and actors, dockworkers and health care workers, baristas, warehouse workers, and more—had in making 2023 the year of the union. They proved what I’ve always said: Wall Street didn’t build America. The middle class built America. And unions built the middle class.

Biden, a Democrat, is President of the United States

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