Behind the UAW’s frustrations with President Biden

  • ‘Abandoned by the Democratic Party’, cry the US auto workers.
  • A United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the big U.S. automakers would pose tangible and political problems for the president’s push for electric vehicles.  President Biden argues with an auto worker

Detroit, Sept.13.– President Joe Biden’s pledge to make electric vehicles the center of his clean energy economy is hitting a roadblock: one of his party’s most powerful allies in the labor movement.

The United Auto Workers’ criticisms of Biden’s handling of his electric car and truck subsidies have become a frequent theme for the 150,000-member union as it prepares for a possible strike against the major U.S. automakers this week. That means a key part of the president’s trillion-dollar-plus climate and infrastructure agenda, a centerpiece of his argument for reelection, faces friction with a major source of Democratic political muscle in states like Michigan.

Labor supporters say the roots of the conflict date back decades, to Democratic presidents who pursued pro-business or free-trade policies that the union blames for hollowing out protections for American workers. Now Biden is facing the blowback from that era, even as he pursues energy policies that he pledges will reverse that tide and rebuild U.S. manufacturing jobs.

UAW members feel abandoned by the Democratic Party,” former UAW President Bob King said in an interview, citing President Bill Clinton’s signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the failure of Biden’s ...

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