‘It’s Scary Right Now’: Autoworkers Worried Biden’s Electric Vehicle Push Could Kill ‘Thousands Of Jobs’

1 November 2022 - Flint MI - Group photo with US Secretary of Labor Marty J Walsh after he speaks in Union Hall with Congressman Dan Kildee

Michigan autoworkers are worried that President Joe Biden’s policies pushing for a transition to electric vehicles (EV) will cost their jobs, according to The New York Times.

Some autoworkers represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union are not pleased with the president’s support of EVs due to the products needing less manpower to produce, which could eliminate tens of thousands of jobs not just in manufacturing, but also in supporting services like insurance and trucking, according to the NYT. Biden has made union support a key part of his campaign and presidential policy, but his push to have half of all new car sales in the U.S. be electric by 2030 runs contrary to the desires of the highly unionized auto industry.

“I was disappointed,” Tiffanie Simmons, an autoworker at a Ford factory west of Detroit, Michigan, told the NYT about Biden’s push for EVs. “We trust you to make sure that Americans are employed.”

Biden has recently looked to slow his EV push in a bid to hold on to autoworker support, with plans in the works to easerestrictions on tailpipe emissions that were set to go into effect over the next few years that would have hastened the need for zero-emission vehicles.

Simmons sees EVs as antithetical to the interests of blue-collar workers because of their job-destroying potential, according to the NYT. She feels betrayed by Biden, but will not vote for former President Donald Trump, deeming him an “entertainer.”

“It’s scary right now with the whole electric push,” Nelson Westrick, an autoworker at the Ford plant north of Detroit in Sterling Heights, Michigan, told the NYT. “This electric stuff is going to kill, just kill, thousands and thousands of jobs.”

Trump held a rally in September 2023 in Detroit, Michigan, speaking to plumbers, electricians and autoworkers instead of attending the second GOP presidential debate as part of his push to win over union votes in his 2024 presidential bid. The former president also released a campaign video in July asking for an endorsement from the UAW, attacking Biden’s support for “green new deal” policies like the EV transition.

In January, Trump met with both leaders and rank-and-file members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to speak about “serious issues.” Trump flipped both Michigan and Wisconsin in the 2016 election while coming very close to winning Minnesota.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Will Kessler on February 19, 2024


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