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Standoff Over Electric Vehicle Workers Poses Risk for Biden

Standoff Over Electric Vehicle Workers Poses Risk for Biden
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

UAW Standoff Poses Risk for Biden’s Electric Vehicle Commitment  The New York Times

Standoff Over Electric Vehicle Workers Poses Risk for Biden

A Looming Auto Industry Strike and the Challenge of Electric Vehicles

Introduction

A looming auto industry strike could test President Biden’s commitment to making electric vehicles a source of well-paying union jobs. This article explores the political challenges posed by the industry’s transition to electric cars and the demands of the United Automobile Workers (U.A.W.) union.

The Union’s Demands

The U.A.W. union, under its new president Shawn Fain, wants workers who make electric vehicle components like batteries to benefit from the better pay and labor standards enjoyed by U.A.W. members at the three major automakers: General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis. However, most battery plants are not unionized.

The Automakers’ Counterargument

The Detroit automakers argue that these workers are typically employed in joint ventures with foreign manufacturers that they don’t wholly control. They claim that raising wages for battery workers to match U.A.W. standards could make them uncompetitive with nonunion rivals, such as Tesla.

The Political Challenge

Former President Donald J. Trump has criticized President Biden’s clean energy policies, claiming they cost American jobs and raise prices for consumers. However, White House officials maintain that President Biden can still deliver on his promise of high-quality jobs and a strong domestic electric vehicle industry.

President Biden’s Vague Stance on Wages

President Biden has spoken vaguely about wages in relation to the transition to electric vehicles. He has emphasized the importance of enabling workers to “make good wages and benefits to support their families” and ensuring that new jobs replace union jobs and pay a “commensurate” wage. The president encourages continued bargaining between the companies and the union to reach an agreement.

The Impact on Unionized Work

The shift to electric vehicles, which require less labor to assemble than gas-powered cars, raises concerns about the decline of unionized work in the industry. While foreign and domestic automakers have announced thousands of new U.S.-based electric vehicle and battery jobs, most of these jobs are not unionized and are concentrated in the South and West where the U.A.W. has struggled to organize workers.

The Union’s Focus on Battery Workers

The U.A.W. has focused its efforts on battery workers employed directly or indirectly by G.M., Ford, and Stellantis. These workers are paid significantly less than U.A.W. members, and the union fears that allowing lower wages for battery workers could lead to the replacement of their current workforce with cheaper labor.

The Debate on Labor Costs

The auto companies argue that the transition to electric vehicles is expensive, and it is uncertain how quickly consumers will embrace them. Even if labor costs were not an issue, it could take several years for the Big Three automakers to catch up to Tesla’s market share in fully electric vehicles.

The Democratic Support for Unionization

Many Democratic politicians and liberal groups support the U.A.W.’s demands for unionizing battery workers. They argue that the impact on automakers’ profits would be modest since labor accounts for a relatively small portion of overall costs. Allowing electric vehicles to drive down auto wages could have disastrous political consequences, particularly in Midwestern states that are crucial for the next presidential election and the transition to clean energy.

Conclusion

The looming auto industry strike presents a significant challenge for President Biden’s commitment to making electric vehicles a source of well-paying union jobs. The outcome of the strike will have implications for the future of the industry, the fate of unionized work, and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals related to clean energy and decent work.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13: Climate Action

The issues highlighted in the article are connected to these SDGs because they involve the transition to electric vehicles, the creation of well-paying union jobs, labor standards, and the impact on workers and the auto industry.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
  • Target 9.2: Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries.
  • Target 10.4: Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage, and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality.
  • Target 12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
  • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

The article’s content relates to these targets as it discusses the need for decent work and equal pay in the electric vehicle industry, the promotion of sustainable industrialization, the goal of reducing inequalities, the importance of responsible consumption and production, and the integration of climate change measures.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator 8.5.1: Average hourly earnings of female and male employees, by occupation, age group, and persons with disabilities.
  • Indicator 9.2.1: Manufacturing value added as a proportion of GDP and per capita.
  • Indicator 10.4.1: Labor share of GDP, comprising wages and social protection transfers.
  • Indicator 12.2.1: Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP.
  • Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have communicated the establishment or operationalization of integrated policies or measures to implement adaptation, mitigation, and capacity-building.

These indicators can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets by tracking average hourly earnings, manufacturing value added, labor share of GDP, material footprint, and the establishment or operationalization of integrated climate change policies.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Indicator 8.5.1: Average hourly earnings of female and male employees, by occupation, age group, and persons with disabilities.
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Target 9.2: Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries. Indicator 9.2.1: Manufacturing value added as a proportion of GDP and per capita.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.4: Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage, and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality. Indicator 10.4.1: Labor share of GDP, comprising wages and social protection transfers.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production Target 12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. Indicator 12.2.1: Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP.
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have communicated the establishment or operationalization of integrated policies or measures to implement adaptation, mitigation, and capacity-building.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: nytimes.com

 

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