(DCWatchdog.com) – According to a letter from its leader, Shawn Fain, the mighty United Auto Workers (UAW) union is abstaining from endorsing President Joe Biden for a second White House term.
UAW, based in Detroit, Michigan, has over 400,000 active members in the US and Canada, plus close to 600,000 retired members.
In 2020, it endorsed Biden against then-President Donald Trump, citing the former’s support for organized labor.
This time, however, UAW does not appear eager to support Biden because it is concerned over the Democrat president’s policies promoting electric vehicles.
UAW President Shawn Fain expressed the union’s criticism of Biden and his EV promotion in a letter to members obtained by multiple news outlets, Reuters reports, as cited by Newsmax.
The letter comes after last week, Fain went to Washington, DC, for a meeting with Biden’s Chief of Staff Jeff Zeints and several US Congress members.
The UAW head told the union’s membership that while several other labor groups had endorsed Biden for reelection shortly after he announced his candidacy in a video last month, the United Auto Workers remained hesitant to do so.
“The federal government is pouring billions into the electric vehicle transition, with no strings attached and no commitment to workers. The EV transition is at serious risk of becoming a race to the bottom. We want to see national leadership have our back on this before we make any commitments,” the union leader wrote.
He added that the UAW wants Biden to help secure better pay and benefits for EV factory workers. For instance, a battery plant in Ohio developed with General Motors’ involvement paid workers a starting wage of $16.50 per hour.
That is almost half what workers earned at a nearby former General Motors factory shutdown in 2019.
“We were very adamant that if the government is going to funnel billions in taxpayer money to these companies, the workers must be compensated with top wages and benefits. A ‘just transition’ has to include standards for our members and future workers,” Fain wrote further in his memo to UAW members.
“Right now, we’re focused on making sure the EV transition does right by our members, our families and our communities. We’ll be ready to talk politics once we secure a future for this industry and the workers who make it run,” the union leader elaborated.
President Joe Biden’s EV goal is for electric vehicles to make up half of new car sales by 2030.
While labor unions have “generally” supported EVs, they have been worried about the transition’s consequences for workers, Politico comments.
In the same letter, UAW leader Fain ruled out supporting former President Donald Trump, stating that another Trump term in the White House “would be a disaster.”
“We need to get our members organized behind a pro-worker, pro-climate, and pro-democracy political program that can deliver for the working class,” the union chief wrote.
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said the Detroit-based union is not yet endorsing President Joe Biden for a second term, citing concerns about electric vehicle policies. https://t.co/WjopJXE5gI
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) May 3, 2023