Former President Donald Trump criticized the Biden administration’s electric vehicle policy, claiming it was responsible for the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against major automakers. Trump referred to Biden’s “ridiculous electric car hoax” and suggested that all cars would soon be made in China.
The UAW began its strike last week demanding higher wages, shorter workweeks, union representation for battery plant workers and better pension benefits. Republicans blame the strike on the Biden administration’s electric car policy, arguing that it took jobs away from UAW strongholds in the Midwest and weakened the union.
Former Vice President Mike Pence expressed similar concerns, criticizing the use of public money from the green agenda to promote electric vehicles. Pence claimed that the Green New Deal, disguised as the Inflation Reduction Act, was pushing the auto industry toward electric vehicles, ultimately benefiting China.
While the UAW shares concerns about electric vehicle policy, the union has not supported Biden’s re-election campaign. UAW President Shawn Fain has stressed the importance of a “just transition” to electric vehicles that protects union jobs. However, Fain said the union would never support Trump.
Tensions between the labor movement and environmental groups are an ongoing problem. The dominant force within the coalition tends to be environmental groups, and the push to electrify the vehicle fleet is consistent with Democratic Party goals.
Notably, the nation’s largest electric vehicle maker, Tesla, remains non-union despite efforts by the UAW and other labor advocates. Additionally, new electric vehicle manufacturing plants and electric vehicle parts plants are located primarily in southern states where labor protections are limited compared to the Midwest.
President Biden has expressed support for the UAW strike and called on automakers to increase their offers and begin negotiations with the union. He plans to visit striking workers in Michigan this week and is seeking a mutually beneficial agreement that guarantees good-paying UAW jobs and a thriving American auto industry.