DETROIT – The United Auto Workers is telling its more than 400,000 members to urge elected officials to support proposed tax credits for union-made electric vehicles.
The Detroit-based union on Wednesday sent out a message through its “take action” alert service that links to an Actionnetwork.org petition to support the proposal, which is a provision in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.
The proposed $4,500 tax credit for a union-made electric vehicle has been controversial, drawing the ire of Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and other automakers that produce electric cars and trucks in the U.S., but with non-organized workers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose non-union workers produce the most of its EVs in the U.S., also has criticized the proposal.
The credit is part of a proposed $12,500 in tax incentives for the purchase of an electric vehicle, including $7,500 tax credit to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle as well as $500 if the vehicle’s battery is made in the U.S.
Biden is pro-union and has continually supported incentives to expand U.S. production of electric vehicles.
“This provision recognizes the importance of unionized workers as the front line for creating well-paying, safe jobs for the entire auto industry. It’s public policy that invests in workers and communities and should be a model going forward for all industries,” says the UAW petition, which also is sponsored by the AFL-CIO.
The petition includes a template for members to send a letter to members of Congress, urging them to support the measure.
Opponents of the tax credit for unionized EVs have said it unfairly favors General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis, which was formerly called Fiat Chrysler. Hourly workers for those automakers – traditionally known as the Detroit 3 – are represented by the UAW.
The EV incentive package is expected to cost about $15.6 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.