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Biden Loves Labor Unions But Blue-Collar Workers Don’t Love Him Back

The union vote in November's election in a swing state will help decide whether Democrats keep Congress and foretell the party's odds in 2024.

US President Joe Biden   

US President Joe Biden   

Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg

President Joe Biden vowed his administration would be the most pro-union in US history. But in a labor stronghold that has become a symbol for blue-collar defections from the Democratic Party, workers say they don’t feel the wind at their backs from the White House.

Macomb County, Michigan, is home to an old guard of auto manufacturing tradesmen and a new generation of young organizers in the service and cannabis industries. Located just north of Detroit, it’s a place like many others where soaring inflation has eaten up wage gains and the pandemic forced some employees to shoulder novel on-the-job health risks without the safety net of paid sick days.