WATCH: New Video, “Our Defining Moment,” Calls Out Big Three Race to the Bottom in EV Transition


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In a new video, UAW President Shawn Fain calls out the Big Three automakers for exploiting the electric vehicle (EV) transition to undercut auto industry standards and harm American communities. UAW Local 1112 (Region 2B) members at Ultium Cells, the General Motors electric vehicle battery joint venture with LG Energy Solution, share their experience of GM closing the Lordstown Assembly plant only to replace that work with low-paying, dangerous EV battery cell jobs.

Watch the video here:

“Workers at Lordstown Assembly were on track to make upwards of $30 an hour,” says UAW President Shawn Fain. “The new green jobs at the Ultium plant? $16.50 an hour, going up to $20 after 7 years. Ultium cut auto wages in half.”

“I think everybody thought when Ultium opened, that would be the next wave,” says Dave Dellick, an Ultium worker. “They were saying high-tech jobs, high-quality jobs. My first instinct was like, ‘These are going to be good paying jobs.’ I guess it’s the element of surprise. It hasn’t been good yet.”

“We’ve had a couple fires inside there, batteries exploding, piping in the machine on the cathode side blow up, shot a piece of pipe across the shop,” says Dominic Giovannone, a former Ultium worker. “I still have friends that are in there. My son works there.”

The video also describes the federal subsidies that are helping to fuel the EV race to the bottom.

“The Big Three automakers: Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, are taking billions of dollars in government subsidies to go electric,” says President Fain. “But those benefits aren’t trickling down to UAW members.”

“GM, LG, they get a kickback from the government,” says Dave Dellick. “We pay our taxes. So that’s our money going into these big billion-dollar companies’ pockets. You should be able to pay me a livable wage. I shouldn’t be working two jobs.”

As President Fain closes the video, he notes: “A new industry is being born. New standards are being set. This is our defining moment. It’s not just about Lordstown. The Big Three are building joint venture battery plants in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. And everywhere, our message is the same: Our communities and our country deserve good, safe, living-wage union jobs. It’s time to build an EV industry that puts workers first.”

Watch the video here:

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