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Shawn Fain: “We must fight for a better contract by any means necessary.”

Joe Biden: “The UAW should fight for a 40% pay raise.”

Donald Trump: “ I promise to end the government’s EV push if elected.”

It’s the biggest auto worker strike in 90 years and for the first time, the United Auto Workers (UAW) are striking all three Detroit automakers at the same time – General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis (Chrysler.) Now, it’s expanding to more factories, and over 18,300 UAW members have joined the fray. But this strike isn’t just about money.

Shawn Fain, President of the UAW, wants a 40% pay increase on a four-year contract, annual cost-of-living adjustments, pension benefits, more job security, and a four-day workweek.

Right now, the average salary for an auto worker is $62,500 per year. 40% more of 60K is $84,000. For the average Joe struggling to make ends meet, that’s a lot of money.

They point to the CEO’s salaries: Ford CEO Jim Farley earned $21 million last year. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares made $24.8 million, and GM CEO Mary Barra earned nearly $29 million in 2022. That’s a lot of money.

But it’s chicken feed compared to what other CEOs make: Stephen Shwarzman, CEO at Blackstone makes $253 million a year. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google makes $226 million. Even Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr makes $182 million – and he doesn’t even make cars, he rents them. In comparison, car maker CEO salaries are modest. Here’s the real reason…

It’s All About Jobs

They want job security. The zero gas and diesel ban of 2030 – Zero Gas Mandate (ZEV) – is fast approaching but the government has decided it’s going to tell car makers how many zero-emission vehicles they need to sell starting now – in 2023.

So, a percentage of a carmaker’s sales will have to come from electric vehicles, or else they’ll be hit with financial penalties. The percentage will keep going up as the ban gets closer. This is the federal government interfering with the free market – at its’ worst.

Government vs Free Market

Car manufacturers are losing billions on EVs. Ford predicts it will lose $4.5 billion on EVs this year. They lose nearly $60,000 for every electric vehicle sold. GM hasn’t been as transparent as Ford – but their losses will be just as bad. Chevy loses $7,400 for every Chevy Bolt they sell. For now, EVs are a money pit.

It seems that the UAW is trying to get as much as they can while they still have jobs. Robotics, of course, are replacing a lot of the labor but it’s the ZEV mandate that really has them worried. The battery is the engine in an EV and most batteries are made in China. And to top it off, nobody wants to drive an EV car.

Almost 100,000 plug-in EVs are sitting on dealer lots, and demand from drivers is simply not keeping up with the dreams of the political elites. Bank of America reported that “consumers are happy with their gas vehicles and don’t want EVs.”

Former President Donald Trump hit the nail on the head. He pledged to kill government EV mandates, arguing they’ll be the death knell of the American automotive industry and help fuel the rise of China.

“Now they want to go all-electric and put you all out of business,” he said at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan on September 22.

“Biden’s mandate isn’t a government regulation, it’s a government assassination of your jobs and of your industry. It matters little whether they secure a favorable deal because the shift to electric vehicles would soon make them obsolete.”

So, the auto makers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Is the strike justified? Is the UAW too greedy? Are the CEO’s to blame? Is it the government’s fault? Will there be a winner In this dogfight?

This is perhaps the most accurate quote of all…

Glenn Beck: “The government is slitting the throat of the auto industry.”

Until we get rid of the new Green Deal fanatics in Washington, it seems like although the strike will somehow be settled, the problem isn’t going away.