Joe Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to stand on a picket line Tuesday, joining striking auto workers in Michigan in a bold pitch for blue-collar votes against likely election rival Donald Trump.

Wearing a United Auto Workers (UAW) union baseball cap, the Democrat told red-shirted employees through a bullhorn that they deserved "a hell of a lot more than what you're getting paid now."

Biden's short but symbolic trip came a day before Republican former president Trump visits Michigan, the historic heart of the US car industry and a key battleground for the 2024 election campaign.