I am inspired by chrysalis, the process of caterpillars becoming butterflies. We witness disintegration, creation and invention. Transformation requires hope, vision, action and patience. I think of chrysalis as the auto workers strike for a seat at the table in the transition away from fossil fuels. It is more than a struggle over wages and benefits. We need to think about more than who makes cars. The whole transportation industry; auto manufacturers, organized labor, elected officials, government regulators, the supply chain, dealerships, gas stations and consumers have kicked the climate change can down the road for decades. Now we face an existential threat and UAW has called the question. They have the courage and collective power to make our country face broader issues. Workers know we must move to electric vehicles; that manufacturers need to retool away from internal combustion, invest billions and invent new technologies and support systems. Workers want a fair share of profits; to participate in discussions of strategies and decisions about skills, compensation, working conditions and the right to organize at clean energy plants. This strike is forcing companies to partner with their workers. We need everyone’s insights and experience.
Auto workers want to transition into new jobs that pay a decent wage. We can’t transform without them. We also need to transition oil industry workers and gas stations into consumer friendly rapid electrical charging facilities. We also need to respect the objections that cause people to resist change so we can partner to address all our concerns.
Let’s focus on invention and implementation. The UAW negotiations challenge us to reinvent transportation and support auto workers. We need to design a path forward that protects jobs.
What are we willing to sacrifice to implement this transformation and what do you need in return?