Biden has long touted himself as a proponent of replacing the millions of cars on America's roads with electric vehicles. In his Inflation Reduction Act, automakers that produce EVs and the batteries needed to power them could soon see a windfall of over $220 billion by 2031 in the form of taxpayer-funded subsidies. (Related: Biden's EV program is alienating allies in the United Auto Workers, who fear the push will lead to fewer well-paying union jobs.)
These massive subsidies are enshrined into law, thanks to several provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that allows automakers to take advantage of tax credits provided that they manufacture EVs and batteries.
The UAW has criticized this plan as a ploy to transfer billions of dollars worth of wealth straight into the pockets of massive and already very-profitable car manufacturers at the expense of the taxpayers.
In its report, the UAW specifically pointed out the working conditions at a General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, known as Ultium Cells, which replaced the company's old vehicle assembly plant on the same site.
The plant, established in collaboration with South Korean conglomerate LG, is General Motors' latest EV battery manufacturing plant.
UAW members who were previously employed at the old General Motors plant on the site used to earn up to $30 an hour. Now, UAW members at the Ultium plant are only earning about $16.50 an hour – a 45 percent drop in wages for Lordstown auto workers.
Worse yet, these workers can only max out their pay to around $20 to $22 an hour and only after seven years of hard work at the plant.
"We cannot allow a race to the bottom for America's working families," the UAW's report stated. "The UAW fully supports the transition to a more climate-friendly auto industry, and we are convinced that it can be done without making workers pay the price."
The UAW further noted that the Ultium Cells plant alone could rake in more than $1 billion annually in subsidies through Biden's EV tax credits, and it is convinced that most, if not all, of that money, will go straight into the pockets of General Motors and LG executives as Biden's subsidies will only "be used to supercharge corporate profits" while slashing worker wages.
"There is a real danger that hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars will subsidize an EV industry that underpays and endangers workers," warned the UAW report.
"It's not just the low pay, these jobs are often dangerous," said UAW President Shawn Fain, pointing out that 22 UAW members at the Ultium Cells plant have already suffered injuries and have missed a combined 200 days of work. This equates to 2.2 injuries per hundred workers, or more than double the injury rate average for battery plants.
"This is our defining moment. It's time to build an EV industry that puts workers first," Fain added. "A just transition must include standards for our members and future workers. [Otherwise], taxpayers are going to continue to funnel over $1 billion a year to Ultium despite their paying poverty wages and having horrifying health and safety conditions."
Learn more about the plan to replace cars in the United States with electric vehicles at FlyingCars.news.
Watch this clip from a Next News Network broadcast reporting on how several Republican attorneys general are fighting back against Biden's proposed electric vehicle regulations.