The UAW, a massive and powerful union representing more than 400,000 workers in the automobile industry, has long been an influential force in progressive politics, aiding pro-labor union Democrats in the Midwest with their organizing and fundraising power.
For his part, Biden has touted his aggressive push toward replacing more and more internal combustion-engine vehicles in America's roads with their electric counterparts as part of a major reinvestment in American manufacturing. But UAW leadership isn't buying any of the president's claims.
UAW President Shawn Fain, along with union members in Lordstown, Ohio, recently sounded the alarm over severe cuts to auto workers' wages that they believe were caused by Biden's push to get automakers to invest more in EVs with federal subsidies. (Related: EV COLLAPSE: Electric vehicle manufacturer Lordstown Motors files for bankruptcy.)
"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," said Fain.
The UAW president noted that major automakers, including the "Big Three" of Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, have so far received tens of billions of dollars in government subsidies to support their transition to manufacturing more and more EVs.
"But those benefits aren't trickling down to UAW members," warned Fain in a statement highlighting how the Big Three continue to shut down factories and cut jobs despite receiving billions in government handouts and making billions in profits.
"Why is Joe Biden's administration facilitating this corporate greed with taxpayer money?" asked Fain, who struck a fiery tone when he called out the White House for "actively funding the race to the bottom with billions in public money."
So far, the UAW is withholding an endorsement for Biden's 2024 campaign, after backing him in 2020. In a memo written to members, Fain wrote that he wants to see Biden commit to "have our backs on this" before the UAW even begins thinking about campaigning for Biden.
Fain's job as the UAW president is to protect its members, most of whom have been working building gas- and diesel-powered vehicles that are now gradually being phased out in favor of EVs. He is concerned that the new EV factories won't employ as many people as traditional assembly plants.
Furthermore, Fain and other union leaders have expressed their concern that the new jobs in EV plants will end up providing union members with significantly lower wages and without protective collective bargaining agreements.
The UAW pointed to General Motors' new Ultium Cells plant in Ohio as an example. Established in partnership with Korean conglomerate LG, the plant promised to bring high-paying, green-energy jobs.
But former Lordstown workers who made upwards of $30 an hour before the factory's closure ended up only making $16.50 an hour at the new Ultium Cells plant, effectively cutting auto wages in half and only providing employees the possibility of an increase up to $20 an hour after seven years of hard work.
Fain's attacks against Biden's EV incentives for Big Auto come just days before former President Donald Trump descended on Michigan and echoed Fain's criticisms, noting that the transition to EVs would lead to a "decimation" of the state's auto industry.
"It's going to be a level that people can't even imagine," said Trump.
According to an internal UAW poll, about one in three union members voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. With Biden's relentless push for EVs disregarding the concerns of auto workers, it is very likely that percentage is going to massively increase.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the White House claimed that Biden and the UAW are "working toward the same goal" of making sure America's auto industry survives to provide workers with "good-paying, union jobs."
"America's auto workers are essential to achieving that goal," said the spokesperson. "The most 'pro-labor president ever' is more than a slogan. It's a critical part of the president's effort to rebuild the middle class and empower workers as he ushers in this new American manufacturing boom."
Learn more about the electric vehicle push at FlyingCars.news.
Watch this clip from the Next News Network reporting on how several attorneys general are fighting back against Biden's electric vehicle regulations.