Written by Hudson Crozier
What’s happening: Thousands of workers from the Big Three automotive companies — Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis — went on strike over the weekend. The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is negotiating for higher pay, a shorter work week, and other benefits.
Why they’re doing it: Central to their strike is the auto industry’s pivot toward electric vehicle (E.V.) manufacturing, which requires fewer workers and threatens jobs. The workers also want to be compensated for rising inflation and losses from the 2008 financial crisis.
Why it matters: Earlier this year, President Joe Biden’s administration proposed a policy requiring automakers to sell mostly electric vehicles by 2032 to combat climate change. The UAW strike is in response to this transition, which could stall manufacturing and drive up prices if it lasts long enough.
- California’s role: California is attempting to completely ban gas-powered cars by 2035, adding to the pressure.
Dive deeper: Biden campaigned on a “pro-union” platform in 2020, but some feel he hasn’t lived up to his promises. Due to his push for E.V.s, the UAW is wary of supporting his reelection. In hopes of boosting his reputation among unions, the president is publicly backing the United Auto Workers and sending officials this week to help with negotiations.