On Friday, United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain criticized the Biden administration for the Department of Energy’s plan to provide a $9.2 billion loan to a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and South Korean battery maker SK On Co. to construct three battery plants in the United States, Reuters reported.
In a statement on Friday, Fain said automobile companies are “extremely profitable” and will continue making profits whether they are selling electric vehicles or combustion engines while their workers are getting “a smaller and smaller piece of the pie,” according to the Detroit News.
Calling the loan a massive “giveaway,” Fain said the venture will only create low-paying jobs and demanded to know why the Biden administration would facilitate “corporate greed with taxpayer money.”
The BlueOval/SK joint venture’s $9.2 billion low-interest government loan is the largest government auto lending program since the government bailed out General Motors and Chrysler during the 2009 Great Recession. It will help finance the building of three EV battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, two right-to-work states.
In response to Fain’s statement, the White House defended the president’s support for union workers and argued that both the UAW and President Biden are working toward ensuring that “the future of the auto industry” is made in America by “good-paying, union jobs.”
In May, Reuters reported that the UAW is holding off endorsing Biden for a second term over its electric vehicle push.
In a letter in May, Fain said that the administration was “pouring billions” into transitioning to electric vehicles “with no strings attached” and without a “commitment to workers.”
Fain wrote that the Biden administration’s EV transition was at risk of becoming a “race to the bottom” using billions in taxpayer money. He said the union would hold off on making “any commitments” to Biden’s reelection until it sees that government officials “have our back.”