Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber," who gained notoriety during the 2008 presidential election, announced Sunday on his personal website that he has begun working with Chrysler Group LLC, as a member of the United Auto Workers.
In a post titled "Is a teabagger welcome in a union shop?" Wurzelbacher answered his own question with "You betcha."
"Yes, I have a website that puts out conservative news," Wurzelbacher wrote. "Yes, I am part owner of a gun company. Yes, I’m a Republican who was cast into the limelight for having the temerity to confront Barack Obama on the question of redistributing wealth. … But I’m a working man and I’m working."
Wurzelbacher, perhaps sensitive to his fraught history with union members, quickly defended the necessity of joining a union as a Chrysler employee.
"In order to work for Chrysler, you are required to join the Union, in this case UAW," Wurzelbacher continued. "There’s no choice -- it’s a union shop -- the employee’s voted to have it that way and in America that’s the way it is. I have lived in Toledo, Ohio off and on throughout my entire life and I have plenty of friends who are union members. Sometimes we agree politically and sometimes not, but it has never kept us from being friends."
In 2008, Wurzelbacher stopped Obama during a campaign visit to ask about his taxes, claiming he was considering starting a plumbing business. However, a local plumber's union official said Wurzelbacher did not hold a plumber's license and did not belong to the union.
Wurzelbacher mounted an unsuccessful bid for Ohio's 9th Congressional District in 2012.