Former President Trump took aim at Biden administration electric vehicle (EV) policy, claiming the president’s “ridiculous all-electric car hoax” is responsible for the United Auto Workers strike against major automakers.
“Crooked Joe sold them down the river with his ridiculous all Electric Car Hoax,” Trump said on Truth Social in the early morning Saturday. “Within 3 years, all of these cars will be made in China.”
“If the UAW ‘leadership’ doesn’t ENDORSE me, and if I don’t win the Election, the Autoworkers are ‘toast,’ with our great truckers to follow,” he added.
The UAW began its strike last week against the “Big Three” automakers: Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. The union is demanding higher wages, shorter work weeks, union representation for battery plant workers and better retirement benefits — including restored pensions for new hires.
Republicans have pinned the strike on Biden administration EV policy, saying efforts to encourage the production of electric vehicles has pushed jobs out of UAW strongholds in the midwest and weakened the union.
“I also think that this green agenda that’s using taxpayer dollars to drive our automotive economy into EVs is understandably causing great anxiety among UAW members,” Former Vice President Mike Pence said last week. “These guys are seeing the Green New Deal that was passed under the guise of the Inflation Reduction Act, they’re seeing it drive their industry into EVs, benefiting China that makes most of our batteries.”
The UAW has shared similar concerns, citing EV policy as the main reason the union has not yet endorsed Biden’s reelection campaign. However, UAW President Shawn Fain said that the union will never endorse Trump.
Fain has pushed for what he calls a “just transition” to EVs — a process that better protects union jobs.
“I think there’s always been that tension between the labor movement and the environmental groups,” said Marick Masters, a professor of business at Wayne State University, to The Hill last week. “I think the environmental group is the dominant group within that alliance … the forces behind electrification of the vehicle fleet are almost unstoppable within the Democratic Party.”
The country’s largest EV manufacturer, Tesla, is not unionized despite growing efforts from the UAW and other worker advocates. Many new manufacturing plants for EVs and EV parts are also in the south, where workers have fewer protections than in the midwest.
Biden has backed the UAW strike, calling on automakers to increase their offers and negotiate with the union. He is scheduled to visit striking workers in Michigan this week.
“Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create,” he posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs.”
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