President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle (EV) push is further straining his administration’s relationship with United Auto Workers (UAW) leadership ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
The union’s leadership has long supported Democratic and left-wing causes, but cracks have surfaced in the UAW’s relationship with the Biden administration due to Biden’s EV agenda, according to Axios. New union president Shawn Fain publicly criticized Biden’s extension of a “no strings attached” $9.2 billion loan to Ford and a South Korean firm to build a battery plant, accusing the Biden administration of “actively funding the race to the bottom with billions in public money” in a statement issued last Friday.
Amid the tension surrounding Biden’s EV agenda, the union has not yet officially endorsed him for the 2024 race, according to Axios. The union’s leadership has long supported Democratic candidates for the presidency, including Biden in 2020 and Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to the UAW’s website.
UAW leadership is worried that the Biden administration’s aim to phase out gas-powered cars will hurt many of the 400,000 workers it represents, as EVs require fewer workers to manufacture, according to Axios. The union’s leadership is also concerned that foreign partnerships in battery and EV manufacturing may undercut their workers’ wages, according to Axios.
Biden consistently asserts that his green agenda will generate union job growth, declaring his personal intention “to be the most pro-union president leading the most pro-union administration in American history” in September 2021.
Joe Biden says that "the federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America by American workers creating– millions of autoworker jobs." pic.twitter.com/BaYrvVQee5
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 25, 2021
“We want to see national leadership have our back on this before we make any commitments” for the 2024 presidential race, Fain wrote to union membership, according to The Detroit News. Donald Trump travelled to Michigan on June 25 to rip Biden’s EV agenda, saying that Biden’s policies will “decimate” the Michigan auto industry to “a level that people can’t even imagine.”
About one third of rank-and-file UAW membership voted for Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections, according to UAW’s internal polling cited by Axios. Despite the apparent rift with the Biden administration, Fain has publicly described a potential Trump victory in 2024 as a “disaster,” according to Axios.
Neither the White House nor UAW immediately responded to the Daily Caller New Foundation’s request for comment.
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