Joe Biden is a Noted Champion of the Blue-Collar Worker. Just ask him. He’ll tell you.
The problem for Biden is that his administration tends to ignore the blue-collar workers in favor of the policies of the highly-educated, rich, white elite. And it appears that the United Auto Workers labor union has taken notice of this because they are now threatening to strike over the Biden administration’s push toward all electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States.
The proposed strike would almost certainly be catastrophic for the economy, which Biden is trying to say is doing great right now. He and his administration have adopted “Bidenomics” as a good thing, despite the fact that Americans by and large think the economy isn’t in a good place. It’s one of the reasons his approval numbers are so low right now. But the UAW is upset because the push for EVs flies in the face of the labor unions. Most plants that produce the batteries for EVs are non-union.
A central issue in the auto contract talks is the status of workers in plants that are producing batteries, many of which are jointly owned with battery companies. But resolving that won’t be an easy task, considering it would mean wrangling battery makers to the bargaining table along with General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.
A senior administration official, granted anonymity to speak frankly about the White House’s perspective, said in an interview that there’s no magic solution in the administration’s back pocket on the joint venture facility question.
The issue throws a new, complicated dynamic into contract talks that are usually centered on traditional economic asks, such as higher wages, the senior administration official said.
“We agree completely that battery factory workers deserve every right to organize and negotiate for jobs that provide the pay and protections needed for economic security and economic dignity,” the official said.
Aggressive new leadership atop the UAW has insisted that those battery plant workers must be brought up to the same wage and safety standards as union workers at traditional plants.
More than 200,000 workers have gone on strike in the last month, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The Biden administration had to take direct control of talks between the railroads and rail workers’ unions ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The Writers Guild of America went on strike, bringing Hollywood to a standstill. There have been threats of strikes from delivery drivers and other organized groups recently.
Labor unrest is causing a not-insignificant number of headaches for the Biden administration, which already has a high number of fires they have to put out – including Hunter Biden’s growing scandal and pressure from House Republicans – and having to get involved in a labor negotiation is just one more problem on the table for him.
But this is largely a problem of the Biden administration swearing fealty to one progressive cause (climate change) without considering all the other issues that come with it. Our electric grid can’t handle a mass conversion to electric vehicles. We have to subsidize China in order to make EVs because American environmentalists will protest and get shut down any mining operation here that would get us the materials we need to make the vehicles. And now, the batteries for those vehicles are made in non-union plants.
And, even with all that, most of those vehicles are more expensive than the average American can actually afford, even with subsidies from the government.
It seems that almost nothing that comes from the EV push is actually beneficial to America. Yet, the Biden administration pushes on.