News Story

UAW boss warns of race to the bottom in electric vehicle transition

Fain takes issue with Ford Motor Co.’s $9.2B federal loan to build EVs

The United Autoworkers Union has raised concerns with America’s transition to electric vehicles.

“The switch to electric engine jobs, battery production and other EV manufacturing cannot become a race to the bottom,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement opposing the U.S. Department of Energy’s $9.2 billion loan to Ford Motor Co. to fund the EV transition.

“Not only is the federal government not using its power to turn the tide – they’re actively funding the race to the bottom with billions in public money,” Fain wrote. “These companies are extremely profitable and will continue to make money hand over fist whether they’re selling combustion engines or EVs. Yet the workers get a smaller and smaller piece of the pie.”

Electric vehicle jobs, like the 7,500 that will be created at the Kentucky and Tennessee Ford facilities, are “low-road jobs” that offer “no consideration for wages, working conditions, union rights or retirement security,” the union leader said.

“This handout may further enrich Ford shareholders, but it shortchanges communities and the UAW members who produce Ford’s vehicles, powertrains and record-breaking profits,” Fain said.

Fain noted that when U.S. automakers were given billions in government aid and loans in 2009 — Ford didn’t participate. But it did get a $5.9 billion loan from the Department of Energy.

Ford paid back the 2009 loan in 2022.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.