UAW President: EV Transition Isn’t Just, Tax Dollars Financing ‘Race to the Bottom’

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” UAW President Shawn Fain stated that auto companies are “using our tax dollars to finance” a “race to the bottom” on electric vehicles and that currently, the transition to EVs isn’t just.

Fain said that while it was a good thing that President Joe Biden joined their picket line, the UAW is focusing on its workers, and will issue an endorsement when the time is right.

He added, “And there’s still work left to be done. This EV transition, it’s important. And we believe in a green economy, but it’s got to be a just transition. So, we want these — as we move forward in this transition, we want these jobs to have our standards in [them]. It cannot be a race to the bottom. And that’s what these companies are trying to push. They’re all for taking all of our tax dollars, helping finance this transition, but when it comes to taking care of the workers, the companies keep trying to take us backwards, and it’s unacceptable. So, there’s still work left to do.”

Later, host Wolf Blitzer read from 2024 Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump’s criticism of Biden’s EV policies and asked, “Is the former President right, does the push for electric vehicles here in the United States hurt your union?”

Fain answered, “It doesn’t if it’s a just transition, and that’s what we’re fighting for right now. It doesn’t if the companies do the right thing and put this work under our agreements or to our standards. And again, it’s the companies driving this race to the bottom, and they’re using our tax dollars to finance it.”

He continued, “I find a pathetic irony [in the fact that] the former President is going to hold a rally for union members at a non-union business. And all you have to do is look at his track record. His track record speaks for itself. In 2008, during the Great Recession, he blamed UAW members. He blamed our contracts for everything that was wrong with these companies. That’s a complete lie. In 2015, when he was running for president, he talked about doing a rotation, taking all of these good-paying jobs in the Midwest and moving them somewhere in the South where people work for less money, and then to make people beg for their jobs back at lower wages. And the ultimate show of his — how much he cares about our workers was in 2019, when he was the President of the United States. Where was he then? GM was — our workers at GM were on strike for 60 days…I didn’t see him hold a rally, I didn’t see him stand up at the picket line, and I sure as hell didn’t hear him comment about it.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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