The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is expressing concerns over President Joe Biden’s “green energy” policy, alleging that it leads to wage reductions while bestowing American taxpayer billions on Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis, the nation’s three largest automakers.
Under Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act passed in the previous year, automakers are poised to receive substantial financial windfalls through tax credits for manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
UAW President Shawn Fain warns of wage cuts amid EV shift
UAW President Shawn Fain, supported by union members in Lordstown, Ohio, warns of considerable wage reductions for auto workers stemming from the Biden administration’s incentivized shift to EV production.
“There have been clear winners and losers, and the same people who’ve always won, the corporate elite and the billionaire class, seem to think they can keep calling the shots,” Fain announced in a UAW-produced video.
EV subsidies don’t benefit workers, Shawn Fain points out
He added: “The ‘Big Three’ automakers, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, are taking billions of dollars in government subsidies to go electric.”
“But those benefits aren’t trickling down to UAW members.”
Fain discusses economic impact of GM Lordstown plant closure
Fain highlighted GM’s closure of its Lordstown plant a few years ago, resulting in thousands of layoffs and a massive blow to the local community.
Dominic Giovannone of UAW Local 1112 said, “I think it was like an economic crash almost. I mean, everybody here was GM… my kids went to Lordstown schools, so a lot of their friends moved away. It took a hometown community and separated it.”
GM’s EV plant fails to meet promised benefits: UAW
In response, GM partnered with LG to establish Ultium Cells, an EV battery plant promising high-paying, green energy jobs. Fain, however, stated, “What [Lordstown] found was a far cry from what was promised.”
Dave Dellick of UAW Local 1112 confirmed the disappointment, indicating the EV battery plant “hasn’t been good yet.”
EV Shift lowers wages despite automakers’ billion-dollar subsidies: UAW
Fain revealed that while former Lordstown Assembly employees received approximately $30 per hour, Ultium Cells workers make $16.50 per hour, increasing to $20 only after seven years of service.
Meanwhile, Ford, GM, and Stellantis continue to receive billions in taxpayer money in EV tax credits.
Research by Good Jobs First indicated that many EV plants “will each receive more than a billion dollars per year from the U.S. government, with no requirement to pay good wages to production workers,” causing average wages to fall below the industry’s national average.
UAW workers struggle amid EV transition, hold back Biden endorsement
Dellick said, “We pay our taxes, so that’s our money going into these companies’ big, billion-dollar companies’ pockets. You should be able to pay me a livable wage. I shouldn’t be working two jobs.”
The UAW has refrained from endorsing Biden, as the administration has yet to deliver on promises that workers won’t face wage cuts during the transition to green energy jobs.