The United Auto Workers (UAW) is going after President Joe Biden’s so-called “green energy” agenda for its wage-cutting outcomes while showering billions in American taxpayer money on the three largest automakers in the nation: Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis.
As part of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, passed last year, automakers are set to enjoy a massive windfall via tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs) made in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
UAW President Shawn Fain, as well as the union’s members in Lordstown, Ohio, are sounding the alarm on severe cuts to auto workers’ wages as a result of the Biden administration’s push to steer automakers towards EVs, enticing them with federal subsidies.
“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 said in a video produced by the UAW:
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. [Emphasis added]
OUR DEFINING MOMENT.
A new industry is being born. New standards are being set.
It's not just about Lordstown.
Everywhere, our message is the same: Our country deserves good, safe, living-wage union jobs.
— UAW (@UAW) July 5, 2023
In particular, Fain points to GM’s closure of its manufacturing plant in Lordstown only a few years ago, which saw thousands laid off — a devastating blow to the small Ohio community.
“I think it was like an economic crash almost. I mean, everybody here was GM,” said Dominic Giovannone of UAW Local 1112. “… my kids went to Lordstown schools so a lot of their friends moved away. It took a hometown community and separated it.”
Since then, GM has partnered with LG to open Ultium Cells, an EV battery plant that the automaker promised would bring high-paying, green energy jobs.
“Residents were pitched on the new facility, bringing good-paying, green jobs back to Lordstown,” Fain said. “What [Lordstown] found was a far cry from what was promised.”
Dave Dellick of UAW Local 1112 said the Lordstown community thought the new EV battery plant “would be the next wave” of manufacturing jobs but said since the plant opened, “it hasn’t been good yet.”
According to Fain, former Lordstown Assembly employees made upwards of $30 an hour. At Ultium Cells, employees are earning $16.50 an hour with hourly earnings increasing to $20 only after seven years.
“Ultium [Cells] cut auto wages in half,” Fain said.
In the meantime, GM, along with Ford and Stellantis, are receiving billions in taxpayer money in the form of EV tax credits.
According to data analyzed by Good Jobs First, 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” while average annual wages will fall below the national average for workers in the auto industry.
“GM, LG — they get a kickback from the government,” 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.”
As Breitbart News reported, the UAW is withholding an endorsement for Biden as the administration has yet to follow through on commitments that auto workers will not have their wages cut if their manufacturing jobs are transitioned to green energy jobs.
For years, Breitbart News has detailed how a publicly funded transition from combustion engines to EVs has the potential to eliminate millions of American auto jobs and leave auto workers with drastically cut wages.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.