Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has backed the demands of striking unionized auto workers, is taking some heat for driving an electric car that was not manufactured in a union shop.
Thousands of members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) from Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis auto plants in Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, and now Texas have stopped working until their demands, which include a 40% pay increase, are met, as The Dallas Express previously reported.
Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday to express her support of striking auto workers and President Biden backing the laborers when the host Margaret Brennan brought up the congresswoman’s choice to drive a non-union-made Tesla.
“One of the things that’s happening in the auto industry, as you know, is this market shift and transition to electric vehicles. You were quoted back in July saying you look forward to buying a union-made electric vehicle, but you currently have a non-union-made Tesla. UAW already makes some electric vehicles. So, why wasn’t that [your choice]? Is it a problem with the quality? Is it a problem with the style? Is the market just not there?” Brennan asked.
Ocasio-Cortez said she picked the Tesla because it was the only EV on the market at the time it was purchased that had the driving range she required.
“Our car was purchased during the pandemic when travel — before a vaccine had come out — so, travel between New York and Washington, the safest way [to do] that we had determined was an EV. But that was prior to some of the new models coming out on the market that had the range available. But we’re actually looking into trading in our car now. So, we’re looking into it, and hopefully, we will soon.”
Tesla is owned by Elon Musk, who has been highly critical of the UAW in the past. Ocasio-Cortez and Musk have clashed on social media over a number of matters, including his purchase of social platform Twitter, which has since been renamed X.
Shawn Fain, who heads the UAW, took a swipe at Musk during a TV appearance on Face the Nation last week, as he explained why the workers were striking.
Speaking about the Big Three’s response to the union’s demands, Fain said, “The fact that they want to compare it to how pitiful Tesla pays their workers, and other companies pay their workers, that’s what this whole argument’s about,” he said.
He added, “Most of these workers in those companies are scraping to get by so that greedy CEOs and greedy people like Elon Musk can build more rocket ships and shoot theirself [sic] in outer space, and that’s unacceptable.”
Elon Musk wants to build Teslas in countries (China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia) that lack worker rights or labor unions.
— Stonk King 🌕 🌕 🌕 🌕 (@StonkKing4) September 18, 2023
As The Dallas Express reported last week, both Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and former president and frontrunner for the Republican nomination Donald Trump have expressed their support for the unionized auto workers while urging the workers to reject the Biden administration’s plan to have all gas-powered cars replaced by electric ones.
Vance called the Biden plan “an unbelievable scam” that would only succeed in sending more jobs to China, which has a comparative advantage in manufacturing battery-powered EVs.