Millions of Americans lost their jobs during the COVID-19 Pandemic, with robots and AI now replacing them faster than ever.
The incentives to replace human labor with machinery continues to accelerate as there appears to be no end to the current skilled labor shortages and to help keep operating costs low for existing businesses and start ups.
The U.S. shed around 40 million jobs at the peak of the pandemic, and while some have come back, some will never return.
One group of economists estimates that 42% of the jobs lost are gone forever.
In what will further escalate the economic conversion from humans to robotics and AI, a robotics company will be opening a first-of-its-kind humanoid robot manufacturing factory.
For weeks, striking auto workers have said they are worried their jobs because of President Joe Biden’s green agenda, including Electric Vehicle (EV) mandates, will eliminate their jobs entirely.
When Joe Biden visited the striking auto workers last month, he intentionally failed to mention his EV agenda.
About 25,000 auto workers across the United States are striking against General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis after the United Auto Workers (UAW) announced the strike nearly a month ago in the hopes of scoring higher wages to keep up with inflation and commitments that their members’ jobs will not be quashed by Biden’s EV mandates.
Their reasoning makes sense considering the fact that supply chains are dominated by China, which controls nearly 70 percent of the world’s lithium, 95 percent of manganese, 73 percent of cobalt, 70 percent of graphite, and 63 percent of nickel.
U.S. government to end gas-powered vehicle purchases by 2035 under Biden’s order.
The U.S. government plans to end purchases of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 in a move to lower emissions and promote electric cars under an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on Wednesday.
The government owns more than 650,000 vehicles and purchases about 50,000 annually. Biden’s executive order said that light-duty vehicles acquired by the government will be emission-free by 2027.
Total federal government operations will reduce emissions by 65% by 2030 under the plan. The government will seek to consume electricity only from carbon-free and non-polluting sources on a net annual basis by 2030 and have net-zero emissions by 2050.
In interviews with E&E News, auto workers made clear: that Biden’s EV mandates very well could be the end of the road for their jobs in the American auto industry.
“I think EVs are going to wipe us out,” 28-year-old Whitney Walch, who works at Stellantis’ Portland Parts Distribution Center in Beaverton, Oregon, said. “… [EVs] don’t need spark plugs, what else, oil filters, we sell a lot of those. If we don’t have all those parts, I feel like we don’t have a lot to do.”
On the picket line in Wayne, Michigan, 37-year-old DeJhon Moore said he is “good with the regular 87 unleaded,” referring to the gas-powered cars he helps make at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.
“I don’t trust [EVs] to drive long distances, I’d rather just do the regular, go get some fuel, and go about my day,” Moore told E&E News.
In Roanoke, Texas, the UAW president for GM’s distribution warehouse said the strike against the Big Three is all about commitments that auto workers will not have their jobs ripped out from under them because of Biden’s EV mandates.
“My question is, our security as far as jobs,” 49-year-old Cornelius Lincoln said. When asked by E&E News about the potential for job losses, Lincoln said “It’s almost inevitable” that auto jobs will be eliminated due to EVs.
UAW President Shawn Fain said the strike remains ongoing primarily because automakers are working in lockstep with the Biden administration to carry out a rapid push to EVs, regardless of the impact on wages and jobs for auto workers.
Former President Donald Trump, though, spoke to auto workers in Michigan late last month precisely about the EV mandates.
“People have no idea how bad this is going to be … you can be loyal to American labor, or you can be loyal to the environmental lunatics, but you can’t really be loyal to both,” Trump said. “… Joe is siding with the left-wing crazies who will destroy automobile manufacturing … I side with the workers of America.”