DETROIT -- Donald Trump's populist message, especially on free trade, resonated among the union's 408,000 members and gives the UAW immediate common ground with what would be an otherwise hostile Republican administration.
More than a quarter and perhaps more than a third of UAW members voted for Trump over the union's endorsed candidate, Hillary Clinton, UAW President Dennis Williams said.
And that's OK, he said. "From what I see and what I hear, I don't see that he has a fight with organized labor," Williams told reporters last week. "NAFTA's flawed. Everybody knows it's flawed. His position on trade is right on."
But Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry, Labor & Economics Group at the Center for Automotive Research, said that beyond trade, there's probably not much more the UAW and president-elect will agree on.
"I think the biggest thing is that it's going to be way harder to organize" new workers, Dziczek said, adding that Trump talked about having a federal right-to-work law.
Williams is more sanguine.
Trump demonstrated during the campaign that he "wasn't a friend of the Republican Party," Williams said "When I see that, I don't see the traditional Republican president. I see a person who made a lot of promises to blue-collar workers. We're going to see if what he says is different than what he does."