A striking member of the United Auto Workers union (UAW) told a reporter on Friday that President Joe Biden’s pursuit of an all- electric vehicle (EV) economy would be a detriment to autoworkers.
The UAW walked off the job at three auto manufacturing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri at midnight Friday, after failing to reach an agreement with Ford, General Motors(GM) and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler). The UAW has criticized President Joe Biden’s efforts to promote EVs, prompting autoworker Travis Hanson to tell Fox News that “right now, electric cars are losing us money.”
“Right now, with inflation and the price of vehicles so high, we’re looking for fair for the future, not just for now,” Harrison said on the picket line outside of a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan. “So, for four years[referring to the contract length]it could be fair, but we are looking for more than four. I have more than four years to go before I retire, so I’m looking for future security.”
Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which will provide $370 billion to combat so-called climate change, into law in August 2022. The legislation is loaded with green energy provisions, including a $7,500 tax credit for EVs.
Despite Biden’s push for EVs, the Biden administration blocked efforts to start mining for copper and nickel near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in January, The Wall Street Journal reported. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) made a determination on Jan. 31 that would block the mining of 1.4 billion tons of copper, gold, molybdenum, silver and rhenium in Alaska in order to protect salmon.
The UAW has been critical of President Joe Biden’s push for EVs, fearing that the transition away from gas-powered vehicles to all-electric cars that require less parts to produce will lower the demand for labor, according to Politico. The union also criticized the Biden administration for issuing multi-billion dollar green energy loans for car companies in red states such as Kentucky that it claims offers “no consideration for wages, working conditions, union rights or retirement security,” according to a June tweet.
The House of Representatives passed the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act by a 222-190 vote Thursday, which would prevent states from forcing people to buy electric vehicles by tightening emissions standards.
The union has sought a four-day work week and a 36% salary increase over five years, according to Bloomberg.
“I think our strike can reaffirm to [Biden] of where the working-class people in this country stand and, you know, it’s time for politicians in this country to pick a side,” UAW President Shawn Fain told CNBC on Sept.6. “Either you stand for a billionaire class where everybody else gets left behind, or you stand for the working class, the working-class people vote.”
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