A UAW official said the union’s paid Twitter account was verified until Friday morning, hours after the strike began.
After members of the United Auto Workers walked off the job at midnight, Twitter stripped the union of its account verification without notice, according to a UAW official. The account, as of publication time, lacked verification. The move by Elon Musk, owner of the microblogging platform he is attempting to rechristen from Twitter to X, followed the union’s decision to strike the Big Three automakers on Thursday night after the car companies refused to ink a new contract with their unionized workers.
Class solidarity among the nation’s elite has long been a feature of the American political economy, and the move by Musk, the richest man on the planet, is in line with that sense of allegiance, even as he promotes himself as a populist friend of the working man. Musk is also the owner of a non-union automaker, Tesla. Wage increases won by union workers often trickle down, so to speak, to non-union workers, requiring even bosses like Musk to pay workers more from his share of profits. That gives Musk a direct financial incentive to help break the strike, even beyond whatever ideological affinity he may have with the capitalist class.
A UAW official told The Intercept that the union’s account, which they paid for, was verified until Friday morning, when suddenly it wasn’t. The most recent entry for the UAW Twitter account in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, from September 9, confirms that the union was blue check verified. A request for comment from Twitter earned the auto-reply, “Busy now, please check back later.”