Although American taxpayers are subsidizing massive electric vehicle (EV) battery plants at millions of dollars per job created, five major EV facilities appear on track to offer sub-market wages to future employees, according to a report by Good Jobs First (GJF), an economic watchdog.
At five large battery plants, each receiving at least $1 billion per year in tax breaks from President Joe Biden’s cornerstone Inflation Reduction Act, the total value of federal and local subsidies range from $2 million to $7.7 million per job created, according to GJF. While President Biden has repeatedly marketed the IRA as a way to support “good-paying, union jobs,” the projected annual salaries at these facilities fell well short of the average $59,093 annual wages earned by production workers in the U.S. automotive sector. (RELATED: EPA Launches $20 Billion ‘Green Bank’ Before GOP Can Repeal Funding)
The subsidies for the five electric vehicle battery facilities we looked at are enormous: ranging from $2 million to $7.7 million PER JOB.
The jobs don’t have to be permanent, and there are no wage requirements, no benefits requirements.https://t.co/mZHNe3Wlgv pic.twitter.com/VeyI2tpEtb
— Good Jobs First (@GoodJobsFirst) July 6, 2023
At one plant — a $2.6 billion joint venture between General Motors (GM) and South Korea’s LG that is on pace to get $13.1 billion in subsidies from the IRA — earnings start at $16.50 per hour for new hires, only growing to $20 per hour after seven years, according to Reuters. This results in average annual earnings of $45,760, more than 22% short of the nationwide average.
“The jobs don’t have to be permanent, and there are no wage requirements, no benefits,” GJF wrote on Twitter.
The watchdog called for state and local governments to require all subsidy receiptients to pay wages at or above market rates, and design “clawback” provisions to recover funds from companies that fail to “deliver promised jobs or investment.” The group also called for federal agencies to pay special attention to job quality when awarding public contracts, to require companies to disclose their regulatory compliance records when applying for subsidies and for local communities and labor groups to negoatiate with battery-makers on wages, workplace safety and toxic emissions, among other topics.
“While there’s still time to set the country’s emerging EV-battery industrial complex on the path to ‘high road’ employment, America can’t afford to miss the on-ramp,” the GJF report reads.
The White House did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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