The middle class built America, and unions built the middle class. The need to transition to a clean energy economy should provide a win‑win opportunity for auto companies and unionized workers. It should enable workers to make good wages and benefits to support their families, while leading us into a future where America is leading the way in reducing vehicle emissions and producing autos that will successfully compete domestically and globally. Companies should use this process to make sure they enlist their workers in the next chapter of the industry by offering them good paying jobs and a say in the future of their workplace.
As the Big Three auto companies and the United Auto Workers come together — one month before the expiration of their contract — to negotiate a new agreement, I want to be clear about where I stand. I’m asking all sides to work together to forge a fair agreement.
I support a fair transition to a clean energy future. That means ensuring that Big Three auto jobs are good jobs that can support a family; that auto companies should honor the right to organize; take every possible step to avoid painful plant closings; and ensure that when transitions are needed, the transitions are fair and look to retool, reboot, and rehire in the same factories and communities at comparable wages, while giving existing workers the first shot to fill those jobs. The UAW helped create the American middle class and as we move forward in this transition to new technologies, the UAW deserves a contract that sustains the middle class.