On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” UAW President Shawn Fain stated that while he thinks President Joe Biden had good intentions in pushing for an electric vehicle transition, companies have taken advantage of the transition to ensure that there’s a “race to the bottom” on wages.
Fain said, “The one thing we’ve made clear is our endorsements are going to be earned, not freely given. That’s one thing we’re doing differently. And there’s a lot of work left to be done here. I, again, with my experience in bargaining, you give these companies an inch, they take a mile. And President Biden, I do believe, with the EV transition, I do believe his intentions were good when he said that he wanted these to be good — or these to be union jobs. But, as I said, you give the company an inch, they take a mile. The companies interpret that as, they have no problem with [these] being union jobs, but they want it to be a race to the bottom. Like an example at Ultium, in Ohio, the company started out at 16.50 an hour, and seven years to get to $20 an hour. We say, in the EV transition, it needs to be a just transition. A just transition is, we want these jobs to be at our standards, not at service sector standards, where people are going to scrape to get by and they can’t provide for their family. So, we have a lot of work to do there.”
He then turned to 2024 GOP presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and stated, “I’ll never forget, in the ’16 race, when he spoke about workers in Michigan, union jobs, and the Midwest, and said that we need to do a rotation in this country, we need to move those jobs to other places that pay less money, and then those people will be begging for their jobs back for anything. That’s not a person I want as my president. And then recently, he made the comment about telling people to stop paying their dues. That’s not someone that represents working-class people. He’s part of the billionaire class. We need to not forget that. And that’s what our members need to think about when they go to vote.”
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