American auto workers, about 150,000 of whom are represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, are increasingly fed up with Democrats as President Joe Biden pursues a green energy agenda set to eliminate auto jobs and shift billions up to corporate executives.
“UAW members feel abandoned by the Democratic Party,” former UAW President Bob King told Politico this week, noting the Democrat majority’s continued support for job-killing free trade as well as Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which is handing out billions in taxpayer subsidies to auto companies and their top line.
“I think there’s a segment of the Democratic Party that sees itself as serving corporations rather than the common good … we’ve had a lot of disappointments,” King said.
As Breitbart News has chronicled, Biden’s IRA is showering automakers with a massive windfall via tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs) made in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
At the same time, a publicly funded transition from combustion engines to EVs has the potential to eliminate millions of American auto jobs altogether.
UAW President Shawn Fain, who has made sure to withhold the union’s endorsement from Biden, has called out the green energy agenda for merely shifting wealth to the top as auto workers see their salaries slashed.
“Workers can’t be left behind in this transition,” Fain said last week:
When we talk about the EV transition, you’re talking about 20% of the powertrain workers in the Big Three stand to lose their jobs down the road if we go from [internal combustion] engines to battery power. And you can’t call this a just transition if you’re going to go from $32 an hour wages down to $16 an hour. [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 a recent UAW report, the union looked at General Motors (GM) and LG’s EV battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, known as Ultium Cells, which replaced GM’s old vehicle assembly plant.
While workers at the former plant earned up to $30 an hour, the UAW notes that workers at the Ultium Cells plant had been earning about $16.50 an hour with a raise to $20 an hour after seven years. This suggests a 45 percent drop in wages for auto workers in Lordstown.
Weeks ago, the UAW fought to secure pay increases at Ultium Cells, scoring workers an additional $3 to $4 an hour and thousands of dollars in back pay.
Now, the UAW is warning the nation’s auto companies that it will go on strike if certain demands are not met. For instance, the UAW is looking to secure historic pay increases for workers to mirror the massive pay increases that executives have gotten.
“The Big Three CEOs saw their pay increase by 40 percent over the last four years, while our pay only went up by 6 percent,” Fain said this month.
General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra, in 2022, raked in almost $29 million, which is 362 times the median paycheck of the average GM employee. Such large pay disparities between executives and employees were not always the case.
A study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) last year found that company executives are earning about 399 times their average employees’ paycheck, whereas in 1965, they were earning about 20 times their average employees’ paycheck.
Fain said Biden’s IRA cannot continue to drive the wage gap.
“There’s a lot with the EV transition that has to happen, and there’s hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars that are helping fund this, and workers cannot continue to be left behind in that equation,” Fain told Politico.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.