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Biden Admin Looked To Placate Auto Workers With Massive $15 Billion ‘Union-Focused’ Spending Package

The Biden administration looked to accommodate the United Auto Workers(UAW) and organized labor when setting guidelines this summer for a massive green energy funding package, CNN reported Tuesday.

After UAW President Shawn Fain slammed the administration for giving Ford and a South Korean partner a $9.2 billion loan in June, the Department of Energy (DOE) incorporated strong pro-union provisions into its $15 billion package designed to subsidize American manufacturers as they retrofit their plants to mass-produce electric vehicles (EVs) in August, CNN reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. In between those two announcements, Fain reportedly visited the White House to discuss the union’s bargaining strategy with top aides ahead of UAW’s then-potential strike and talked with President Joe Biden directly before the meeting.

The inclusion of strong pro-labor provisions and requirements in the loan package is directly attributable to those conversations, and Biden reportedly intended to show the UAW and other unions that he is sensitive to their concerns, all of which could prod the union to officially endorse Biden in the 2024 race, CNN reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

“This isn’t enough to get us to an endorsement, but it gets us a significant part of the way there,” one UAW source said to CNN when describing Biden’s efforts to accommodate the union with the “union-focused” spending package. Biden visited the UAW picket lines in Michigan on Tuesday in a show of solidarity with striking union laborers.

There is no chance that the UAW will endorse former President Donald Trump, but it is highly likely that Fain will not endorse Biden for 2024 until after the union has inked a contract with the “Big Three” manufacturers on the most favorable possible terms, one former labor advisor to Biden told CNN. The strike has placed Biden’s pro-labor sympathies in tension with his sweeping climate agenda.

The administration is aiming to have EVs comprise 50% of all new car sales by 2030, but that goal appears to lay at the heart of the UAW’s dispute with the “Big Three.” The union has expressed concerns that Biden’s EV push could ultimately disadvantage the workers it represents, as EVs require fewer hands to manufacture than gas-powered vehicles, according to Axios.

In addition to the DOE retrofitting package, the Biden administration has committed billions to build out EV charging infrastructure, subsidize EV supply chains and to provide tax credits to consumers who make the switch to EVs, all in order to curb emissions in the administration’s whole-of-government approach to countering climate change. This spending is pushing manufacturers to ramp up their long-term plans for EV production, complemented with aggressive regulations from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that clamp down on future production of internal combustion engine vehicles.

The White House, DOE and UAW all did not respond immediately to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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