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To The CEOs of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis:

By various - Labor Network for Sustainability, et. al., August 16, 2023

(Mary Barra, Jim Farley, and Carlos Tavares)

We, the undersigned climate, environmental, racial, and social justice organizations, stand in solidarity with auto workers and their union the United Auto Workers (UAW) in their upcoming contract negotiations with the “Big 3” automakers: General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. We firmly support the UAW members’ demands and believe that the success of these negotiations is of critical importance for the rights and well-being of workers and to safeguard people and the environment. Only through meeting these demands will the United States ensure a just transition to a renewable energy future.

Lack of fair wages, job security, and dignified working conditions have left workers and our communities reeling. Worse, in recent months, workers and their communities have experienced unprecedented extreme heat, smoke pollution, flooding, and other disasters. The leaders of your companies have historically made decisions that exacerbated both of these crises over the past few decades — driving further inequality and increasing pollution. That is why we are standing in solidarity with the UAW and all workers and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis and the necessary transition.

Within the next few years — the span of this next contract — lies humanity’s last chance to navigate a transition away from fossil fuels, including away from combustion engines. With that shift comes an opportunity for workers in the United States to benefit from a revival of new manufacturing, including electric vehicles (EVs) and collective transportation like buses and trains, as a part of the renewable energy revolution. This transition must center workers and communities, especially those who have powered our economy through the fossil fuel era, and be a vehicle for economic and racial justice. We are putting you on notice: Corporate greed and shareholder profits must never again be put before safe, good-paying union jobs, clean air and water, and a liveable future.

The EV transition cannot be a “race to the bottom” that further exploits workers. We call on you to honor the demands of the UAW.

These demands include:

  • End Tiers – Equal Pay for Equal Work: Ending the unjust tier system for workers
  • Don’t Leave Workers Behind – Just wage and benefit increases that keep in line with the cost of living and provide a good life for workers and their communities
  • Batteries Included – Workers in sustainable battery production have the same pay and safety standards as under the National Agreements
  • EV Jobs that are Good, Safe, and Union – A robust, fair and just transition into the EV economy with no loss of autoworker livelihood

Right now, President Biden’s administration is poised to infuse billions to boost your companies’ transition to electric vehicle manufacturing and component production. As these billions in taxpayer dollars move into the auto industry, you are also undermining President Biden’s promise of this money creating millions of “good, union jobs.”

General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis – you can either do right by the workers who have sacrificed to keep your companies profitable, or you can face a united labor, environmental, and climate movement standing in solidarity, ready to fight side by side with UAW workers in winning their demands. The choice to preserve and strengthen good union jobs should be as crystal clear as the need to transition to a clean transportation system.

We, and millions of Americans, want what UAW is bargaining for: family-sustaining, community-supporting, union jobs in a green energy economy; one that allows us all to make a living on a living planet.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author.

The Fine Print I:

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