Carney on ‘Kudlow’: A UAW Strike Will Be Biden’s Fault Because His Policies Have Destroyed Autoworkers’ Wages

President Joe Biden’s inflationary economic policies and green electric vehicle agenda is to blame if the United Auto Workers (UAW) union decides to strike, Breitbart Economics Editor John Carney told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow on Wednesday.

The 150,000-member UAW could go on strike as early as Thursday if they cannot reach an agreement with Detroit’s Big Three automakers over their contracts, which expire before midnight on Thursday.

Carney told Kudlow that the union and the Big Three have reportedly not made progress on a deal. 

“Look, this is actually the fault of Joe Biden because one of the things driving this strike is the fact that people’s wages have deteriorated so much,” Carney said. “Of course, the unions want to be paid more because they’ve seen their buying power go down. Their cost of living has skyrocketed. So, of course they need to make more money.”

Kudlow observed that the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is a major factor in the negotiations because “a lot less labor is necessary” to make an EV than a traditional gas-powered vehicle. Kudlow cited a claim made by Kevin Hassett, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Trump administration, that the auto industry could lose as many as 500,000 jobs due to the EV transition.

This is as topic that Breitbart News has covered extensively, starting with an article by this writer in October 2020 warning that then-candidate Joe Biden’s rapid push to electric vehicles would have a devastating impact on the American auto industry. The article predicted:

When you eliminate the internal combustion engine, you eliminate hundreds of components that comprise it. This will dramatically change the landscape of the automotive industry for millions of parts suppliers, engineers, mechanics, and countless blue-collar workers. That’s because the average electric vehicle deletes over 300 components. The fuel-powered vehicle’s engine, transmission, gas tank, radiator, hoses, pumps, starter motor, mounting brackets, etc. will all become obsolete.

This will dramatically reduce the amount of money it costs to produce a vehicle, but it will also reduce the number of blue-collar workers all along the supply chain needed to create those parts and assemble the finished product. However, the sticker price of the electric vehicle will not be reduced. These vehicles will be just as expensive for consumers as gas-powered vehicles even though they cost less to manufacture. In other words, EVs will be a cash cow for the big auto companies, but will not necessarily benefit American workers, American consumers (who are still skeptical of EVs), or even the American environment which relies on a fossil fuel-based power grid to charge EV batteries.

This prediction has sadly proven all too true and is the reason why the UAW has withheld its support for Biden’s reelection and why, as Politico reported on Wednesday, autoworkers feel “abandoned” by Democrats and the Biden administration.

While autoworkers are seeing their wages slashed due to the EV adoption, the Big Three executives have enjoyed a windfall thanks to the EV tax credits in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

President Joe Biden with General Motors CEO Mary Barra looks at a Chevrolet Silverado electric vehicle as he tours the 2022 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on September 14, 2022. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

UAW President Shawn Fain has argued that autoworkers are being “left behind” in this new EV subsidized auto industry, as their jobs and wages are gutted.

“When we talk about the EV transition, you’re talking about 20 percent of the powertrain workers in the Big Three stand to lose their jobs down the road if we go from [internal combustion] engines to battery power. And you can’t call this a just transition if you’re going to go from $32 an hour wages down to $16 an hour,” Fain said in an interview last week.

This massive pay disparity is at the heart of the current negotiations and could very well lead to a strike, as Breitbart’s John Binder reported Wednesday:

…[T]he UAW is looking to secure historic pay increases for workers to mirror the massive pay increases that executives have gotten.

“The Big Three CEOs saw their pay increase by 40 percent over the last four years, while our pay only went up by 6 percent,” Fain said this month.

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra, in 2022, raked in almost $29 million, which is 362 times the median paycheck of the average GM employee. Such large pay disparities between executives and employees were not always the case.

study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) last year found that company executives are earning about 399 times their average employees’ paycheck, whereas in 1965, they were earning about 20 times their average employees’ paycheck.

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act electric vehicle subsidies are also driving this decimation of autoworker pay, while driving up executive profits.

The Associated Press

United Auto Workers members walk in the Labor Day parade in Detroit on September 4, 2023. The union is threatening to strike if they cannot reach an agreement with the Big Three automakers by the time their contracts expire on September 14. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

“There’s a lot with the EV transition that has to happen, and there’s hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars that are helping fund this, and workers cannot continue to be left behind in that equation,” Fain told Politico.

Carney agreed with Fain’s argument that autoworkers should not be the only ones bearing the cost for this EV push.

“If we have a big society move that we want to push electric cars, union workers are saying, ‘Why should we bear that cost?’ That should be spread around if everybody’s going to benefit because we’re going to save the climate or whatever. Then why should it only be union workers bearing the cost,” Carney told Kudlow.

Thanks to Bidenomics, the economic pain autoworkers are feeling is also exacerbated by the inflation eating into their household incomes. The U.S. Census data released this week revealed that the median income of U.S. households fell in 2022 by 2.3 percent, which, as Carney reported in Tuesday’s Breitbart Business Digest, was the worst decline since 2010, when Barack Obama was president. Family household income faired even worse, dropping by 2.9 percent last year, and child poverty increased by 4.6 percent.

According to the Census data, the region hit the hardest in 2022 by Bidenomics was the Midwest—the home of the Rustbelt states like Michigan which are the beating heart of the American auto industry.

That last fact will undoubtably be a factor in any potential UAW strike.

Rebecca Mansour is a Senior Editor-at-Large for Breitbart News and a proud native of Metro Detroit. Follow her on X at @RAMansour.


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