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Khanna: EVs May Mean Fewer Auto Jobs, Protection for Battery Workers Is a ‘Main Sticking Point’ in Talks

On Thursday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Last Call,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) stated that ensuring that all the people who work on electric vehicles have union jobs “is one of the main sticking points in the contract negotiations” between the UAW and automakers and that there may be fewer auto workers for electric vehicles than traditional vehicles.

Host Brian Sullivan asked, “So, you talk about the EV transition, and here’s the complex part and something we talk a lot about on this program, California, as you obviously know, is planning to ban the sale of gas-powered engines by 2035, and yet, the UAW is nervous about the EV transition because EVs have so many fewer parts, and thus, may need fewer workers. How do you square the two, and has Shawn Fain said to you, Congressman Khanna, some of the policies of your state, meaning California, might actually injure the UAW ten, 20 years from now?”

Khanna answered, “What Shawn is focused on and what we’re focused on is making sure all of the jobs in the EV supply chain are good union jobs. And that’s why this contract matters so much, because it’s not just about the people who are going to be working on the EV vehicles, which may be fewer than traditional vehicles, it’s also the folks who are going to be working on the battery plants. And that is critical that those folks be union jobs and we have a master agreement, and that is one of the main sticking points in the contract negotiations.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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