Taxpayers Pick up Tab For UAW Dons’ ‘Victory’

Union boss Shawn Fain claims to oppose “corporate welfare,” but isn’t hesitant to personally benefit from it.
Union boss Shawn Fain claims to oppose “corporate welfare,” but isn’t hesitant to personally benefit from it. (Credit: Status Coup News / YouTube)

White House Mum About Cost to Public of Vaunted Strike Settlement

Given the long-term decline in the number of workers employed domestically by Big Labor-controlled GM, Stellantis and Ford, how could these firms all have agreed to invest billions of dollars in U.S.-based facilities as part of their recent strike settlements with United Autoworkers (UAW) union bosses?

Stellantis, for example, agreed to pump roughly $5 billion into a facility in Belvidere, Ill., that had, until the deal emerged, been slated for closure.

When it reopens, it will produce electric vehicles (EVs), up to now a relatively small part of the company’s business, and one on which it has been making “little if any profit,” as New York Times business reporter Jack Ewing noted in the fall.

Strike or no strike, Stellantis surely never would have gambled an additional $5 billion to make EVs at this plant if the money were going to come exclusively from its own checkbook.

And the reality is that federal and Illinois taxpayers will be covering much if not most of the cost.

‘It’s Not Yet Clear How Much Money’ Taxpayers ‘Will Give Stellantis’

Most Illinois and national media outlets have conveniently failed to acknowledge that taxpayers are footing the bill for the strike “victory” scored by acid-tongued UAW President Shawn Fain and his lieutenants in bringing about the Belvidere plant reopening.

But a November 1 report by journalist John Pletz for Crain’s Chicago Business was blunt about what actually happened:

“The company’s decision to reopen the plant is the result” of a successful bid by Big Labor Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other Illinois state politicians to persuade the Biden Administration and its cronies in the Illinois congressional delegation to “come up with a package of [taxpayer-funded] incentives . . . .”

Team Biden contends it has the authority to effectuate this bailout under the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” rammed through Congress by union lobbyists in 2022.

According to Mr. Pletz, “It’s not yet clear how much money the feds or state and local governments will give Stellantis” to reopen its Belvidere facility,  but it’s likely to be in the high hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.

The White House did not respond to a request from Crain’s for a comment. 

Bottom Line: Unionized Auto Plants Aren’t Competitive

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen said that even massive new infusions of taxpayer money into unionized auto firms in Belvidere and across the country won’t be enough to reverse those firms’ long-term decline:

“The Biden Belvidere bailout garnered the President’s buddy Shawn Fain and the President himself some good PR in ‘mainstream’ media outlets that ignored the cost to taxpayers.

“But the bottom line is, largely as a consequence of antiquated, counter-productive union work rules that Shawn Fain has no interest in changing substantively, unionized U.S. auto plants simply aren’t competitive with their union-free domestic counterparts.

“That’s why the share of U.S. auto production jobs controlled by UAW bosses has plunged from 60% in 1980 to less than 20% today.

“Mr. Fain, who took over the UAW in 2023, claims his unabashed class-warfare tactics will protect union-‘represented’ workers’ jobs, but there’s no plausible reason to believe he’s correct about that.”

‘Historic’ Deal Won’t Stop Unionized Plants From Closing

Indeed, the brand-new UAW deal with Stellantis that Mr. Fain has touted as an extraordinary Big Labor achievement includes a clause stating that the company has “notified the Union of the intent to close” 19 manufacturing facilities “during the terms of the 2023 National Contract.”

Now that his job-cutting deals with Stellantis, Ford and GM have been signed and ratified, Mr. Fain insists he can’t see any reason why currently union-free U.S. employees of auto firms like Tesla, Honda and Toyota, which have actually added jobs in recent years, would continue to resist unionization.

The reality is that union-free auto workers have ample reason to believe they would enjoy much less job security and fewer opportunities for advancement if the UAW took over their companies. But Mr. Fain can certainly count on the Biden Administration’s enthusiastic support as he targets these employees!

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. Go here to access previous newsletter posts.

To support our cause and help end forced unionism, go here to donate.

NRTW Home » News » Taxpayers Pick up Tab For UAW Dons’ ‘Victory’