About 25,000 auto workers across the United States are striking against General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis after the United Auto Workers (UAW) announced the strike nearly a month ago in the hopes of scoring higher wages to keep up with inflation and commitments that their members’ jobs will not be quashed by Biden’s EV mandates.
In interviews with E&E News, auto workers made clear: Biden’s EV mandates very well could be the end of the road for their jobs in the American auto industry.
“I think EVs are going to wipe us out,” 28-year-old Whitney Walch, who works at Stellantis’ Portland Parts Distribution Center in Beaverton, Oregon, said. “… [EVs] don’t need spark plugs, what else, oil filters, we sell a lot of those. If we don’t have all those parts, I feel like we don’t have a lot to do.”
On the picket line in Wayne, Michigan, 37-year-old DeJhon Moore said he is “good with the regular 87 unleaded,” referring to the gas-powered cars he helps make at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.
“I don’t trust [EVs] to drive long distances, I’d rather just do the regular, go get some fuel, and go about my day,” Moore told E&E News.
In Roanoke, Texas, the UAW president for GM’s distribution warehouse said the strike against the Big Three is all about commitments that auto workers will not have their jobs ripped out from under them because of Biden’s EV mandates.
“My question is, our security as far as jobs,” 49-year-old Cornelius Lincoln said. When asked by E&E News about the potential for job losses, Lincoln said “It’s almost inevitable” that auto jobs will be eliminated due to EVs.
UAW President Shawn Fain said the strike remains ongoing primarily because automakers are working in lockstep with the Biden administration to carry out a rapid push to EVs, regardless of the impact on wages and jobs for auto workers.
For weeks, auto workers have said they are worried their jobs will be eliminated altogether as a result and that supply chains will be dominated by China, which controls nearly 70 percent of the world’s lithium, 95 percent of manganese, 73 percent of cobalt, 70 percent of graphite, and 63 percent of nickel.
When Biden visited striking auto workers last month, he failed to mention his EV agenda. Former President Donald Trump, though, spoke to auto workers in Michigan late last month precisely about the EV mandates.
“People have no idea how bad this is going to be … you can be loyal to American labor, or you can be loyal to the environmental lunatics, but you can’t really be loyal to both,” Trump said. “… Joe is siding with the left-wing crazies who will destroy automobile manufacturing … I side with the workers of America.”