United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain criticized President Joe Biden on Tuesday for pushing electric vehicle goals that UAW believes do not result in great enough compensation for workers, according to The Washington Post.
Fain is still withholding an endorsement for the president by UAW after criticizing Biden for low wages at the new Ultium Cells plant, General Motors’ electric vehicle battery project that is jointly owned with LG Energy Solutions, according to the Post. UAW is currently in negotiations with top automakers Ford, GM and Stellantis over a possible strike for the 150,000 U.S. hourly workers represented by the union. (RELATED: Trucking Giant Files For Bankruptcy After Receiving Over $700 Million In Gov Loans)
“We’re not going to give Biden credit for helping out in Lordstown if the jobs at Ultium remain poverty-level,” Fain told the Post. Fain also called for Biden to get “a hell of a lot more vocal” over the wages that Ultium workers receive, claiming that they receive half of what the former GM plant received nearby.
Electric vehicle startup Lordestown Motors Corp. (LMC) in Lordestown, Ohio, shut down its plant in the town in June after buying it from GM in 2019, and filed for bankruptcy, claiming that the company was defrauded by Foxconn, which had agreed to invest $170 million in LMC. The company was set to receive $20 million in tax credits from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority and was pledged to receive $4.5 million from JobsOhio, which it never received.
Fain claims that the major automakers are able to pay “poverty-level wages” for EV workers due to the companies setting up separate legal entities to build the EV battery plants, operating outside of existing UAW contracts, according to the Post.
“We’re not against a green economy,” Fain told the Post. “But we are against a green economy that’s going to drive a race to the bottom.” There “needs to be a just transition,” he said.
— UAW (@UAW) August 7, 2023
UAW has criticized Biden administration incentives for green technologies, which have given a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium to support battery cell manufacturing, arguing that the money came with no increase in wages for workers, according to the Post.
Biden has struggled to win the support of UAW, which has long supported Democratic candidates, because of Biden’s push for electric vehicles. UAW is concerned that the phasing out of gas-powered cars will hurt many of the 400,000 workers that the union represents.
Former President Donald Trump released a video in July asking for an endorsement from UAW and attacking the president over his Green New Deal policies that have given incentives to the EV industry.
UAW is demanding higher wages, support for retirees, greater job security and an end to wage tiers from the three automakers in negotiations, according to a press release from the union.
UAW and the White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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