President Joe Biden’s commitment to electric vehicles has the United Auto Workers (UAW) union in limbo as it weighs its options regarding endorsing him for re-election.
The UAW is unconvinced about the President’s commitment to supporting a widespread transition to EVs in the United States. An internal memo seen by The Detroit News shows the union is concerned with how it could affect employment figures.
“The federal government is pouring billions into the electric vehicle transition, with no strings attached and no commitment to workers,” wrote UAW President Shawn Fain.
The UAW has historically supported Democrats for the Presidency, and Fain said another Trump presidency “would be a disaster.” However, the UAW has an interest in protecting its over 400,000 active members.
A 2018 study cited in the CNBC report indicates that the EV transition could cost the UAW 35,000 jobs, but the union believes that number has gotten smaller in the past five years.
The union has already had some reservations about Biden’s commitment to EVs and stated that a hell-bent push is something that could affect many automotive production jobs as manufacturing facilities continue to be updated for EV production.
Biden, who has routinely flexed his pro-union stance by snubbing companies like Tesla, which have not operated under the same circumstances, will now face pressure as his EV push may have stepped on the wrong toes.
The UAW is one of the largest labor unions in the U.S., and its endorsement of political figures holds extreme power. Biden announced in April that he would aim to be re-elected, which could set him up for a rematch with Donald Trump or a fresh face in competition with Florida governor Ron DeSantis.
The UAW endorsed Biden during his successful 2020 election campaign, but navigating this new bit of turmoil could cost him votes and potentially his second term.
Fain’s letter concluded with the acknowledgment to “back the candidates that support us.”
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