WASHINGTON — The United Auto Workers union is expected to endorse President Joe Biden as early as Wednesday, according to three people familiar with the decision.
Biden will address UAW members at their conference in Washington on Wednesday afternoon, where the endorsement of his 2024 bid will most likely come, the sources said.
Last fall, Biden became the first sitting president to join a picket line when he visited auto workers outside Detroit who were striking for higher wages and cost-of-living increases.
On Tuesday, Biden and former President Donald Trump both picked up wins in the New Hampshire primaries, victories that could mark the quick end of the primary process and the beginning of the general election.
The UAW endorsement could carry significant political implications because of the influence on voters in Michigan, a critical battleground in the 2024 election. Biden narrowly won the state last cycle.
Trump has sought to win over rank-and-file union voters, winning over those who have felt that globalization and international trade have left behind those who built middle-class lives in manufacturing jobs. Trump’s appeal to those voters has divided union membership, whose leaders have traditionally aligned with Democrats while Republicans have historically worked more closely with the companies at odds with those unions.
Biden has long touted himself as the most pro-union American president but that message has fallen flat with some of those members who are concerned about immigration and trade, two big points Trump makes.
So far, Biden has been endorsed by almost every other major union, including the AFL-CIO. But a few have stayed on the sidelines so far, including the Teamsters, the American Postal Workers Union and the International Association of Fire Fighters.
The UAW typically endorses presidential candidates a bit later in the cycle. In 2020, the union didn’t back Biden until late April.
UAW President Shawn Fain, as recently as Monday, had a message for political leaders seeking the union’s support.
“We have to make our political leaders stand up with us. Support our cause, or you will not get our endorsement,” Fain said.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com