UAW preparations towards the EV disruption

Interesting interview. They realize LOTS of jobs will be lost, and are taking steps.

A few gems here
Previously UAW tried to stall EV penetration (see GM labor deal), now they realize battle is lost and are dealing with it.

Last year they made a plan... some steps are logical, some delusional.

FD: I am not against organized work. It can be important when done right.
The baseline for their plan is that 30% of jobs will be lost.

What's interesting is number is taken from OEM's assessments - so AMERICAN OEMs STILL DON'T GET IT!
They probably counted how many ppl work on engine, drivetrain, exhaust etc. and came up with 30%, without realizing the extent at which EV factories can be automated
UAW realizes over 30%🙄 of jobs are going away, with fewer replacing them. They realize many of new jobs will be in software, and believe many linesmen can be retrained for software.
TBH it could be done but at a huge competitive cost i don't think GM and Ford can afford.

I don't mean the training - i mean using older converted workers instead of the best possible SW ppl they can find
Some converts will be amazing but having to widely use retrainees instead of choosing on merit is bad.

OEMs already way back on SW, and being forced to do this will drag them down even more.
Biden approach of EVs is new. They welcome the US Content/domestic production approach, want Cash for Clunkers etc, so some is good.

But they fear that in the long run content will go to China as most battery production worldwide will be there
They are right on that!
Of 142 large-scale battery plants worldwide, 109 are in China w. 70% of capacity!

This only shows why government bullishness on EVs can have huge implications on future competitiveness
If administration pushes to close the gap, this would be good news for local jobs, local OEMs (and WONDERFUL news to my $NVX investment 😋)
No FORMAL response regarding EV startups such as #Rivian, but clarified they keep close watch over them and will try to unionize them as they grow

Especially since startups are not in owner's-garage mode, and hugely funded.
I think they'll find it hard unionizing, when non-unionized workers get options in potentially-disruptive-growth companies.

BTW, informal-GM-Spinoff Lordstown Motors welcomes UAW.
They hope more battery Gigafactories will be built in USA.

Same for raw materials/extraction/processing.

They hope work will get unionized.
Such work often done in foreign countries at sub-minimal wages but UAW can't agree to that in USA. Their solution - if company takes subsidies it must pay good salaries in these jobs, even if not competitive.
Closing notes...
UAW and auto-workers face HUGE challenges. Previously UAW tried to block the shift (GM strike etc) but now seems like accepted it's inevitable.

Lots of people will lose jobs - but UNLIKE them I think significantly more new jobs will be made!
Since localization brings efficiency in EVs, that means more US production (bad news for Mexico etc)

But bad news is it seems like OEMs still plan on building EVs the old way, like ICE cars were built - only using skateboard drivetrain and chassis
Tesla changed all that with two manufacturing revolutions:

Revolution #1 Was "Manual labor costs a lot, let's bring robots to lower costs and raise quality" and Shanghai Model 3 uses more robots and less people than any car factory I know.
Revolution #2 was "Robots cost a lot and have downtime, let's bring Mega and Gigapresses to lower costs and raise quality once again" and Berlin Model Y should be spat-out quickly with minimal robots and low manual work.
US OEMs are far back. The real problem for UAW at this stage isn't that they'll lose 30% of the jobs - it's they'll lose 100% as OEMs might cease to exist alltogether.

Sad, but a real possibility.

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