Toyota angry at senator for saying he wasn’t on ‘home team’

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As more and more news comes to the fore about the Biden administration’s crackdown on additional incentives for unionized automakers, it looks like it will be very difficult to push through.

Toyota joins a growing list of automakers including Honda, Hyundai, Tesla, Volkswagen and others who are not happy to be punished by the upcoming legislation. For those unaware, the plan is to give an additional $4,500 in electric vehicle tax credits to automakers that are part of the UAW.

While we already knew Toyota was bothered by the potential legislation, things got worse when Democratic US Senator Debbie Stabenow said Toyota was not on the “home team.”

According to Automotive News, Toyota North America sent an unsigned email called “Fast Facts” to its 38,000 U.S. employees. He said Stabenow “Directly attacked Toyota for responding to its discriminatory proposal. This was an unprecedented attack, including false and hypocritical accusations.”

Stabenow recently said at GM’s Factory Zero EV, before an audience of mostly UAW members:

“I think it takes a lot of guts for a car company based in Japan, where they almost prevent us from selling to them in Japan, where they get government funding and consumer rebates in Japan, where they have a hand- union workers in Japan — in fact, everywhere except America, by the way, where they are fighting tooth and nail against Americans who have tried to organize — they need a lot of nerve to fight against our efforts to have a consumer bonus for the purchase of vehicles made by the United Auto Workers, so I call that just leveling the playing field, and I pledge to support the local team and lead that effort in the Senate.

It didn’t stop there either. Stabenow said she doesn’t consider the 2,000 Toyota workers in Michigan to be “part of the local team.” She also doesn’t believe the roughly 38,000 Toyota workers in America — those who support their families by working for the automaker and building cars for Americans — are part of the “local team.”

The Democratic senator also had the opportunity to respond to the email Toyota sent to its employees, and her remarks seem even more scathing. In an emailed statement to Automotive News, Stabenow reportedly wrote:

“Instead of bullying its workers here in the United States, in its next memo to employees, Toyota should explain why union wages and benefits are good enough for its workers in Japan but not here in America. Perhaps the National Labor Relations Board should review this message as potential intimidation of workers through coercive statements to its American workers.”

Toyota replied:

“Rest assured that we will not be intimidated by Senator Stabenow – or anyone who treats our American workforce like second class. Your work to build a zero-carbon future is no less valuable than that of any other worker American Automotive.”

For a much longer and more in-depth article on this topic, follow the Automotive News link below. Once you’ve had a chance to take it all in, scroll down and start a conversation in our comments section below.

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