This week the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) and The Metals Company (TMC) announced that they have entered into a labor neutrality agreement to bolster the critical mineral supply chain and to lay the groundwork for sustainable production of electric car batteries while creating a path to more good union jobs in the United States.
TMC will process and eventually recycle key battery metals responsibly collected from polymetallic nodules that lay unattached on the seafloor in the Eastern Pacific off the coast of North America. Battery metals, many of which are included on the US critical mineral list, are an essential ingredient to decarbonization and without secure supply and processing capabilities, the American automotive industry and American jobs underpinning the clean energy transition remain vulnerable.
UAW President Ray Curry stated, “UAW members helped create America’s middle class by bargaining agreements that lifted not only their standard of living, but those in entire sectors of our economy.” He adds, “we have insisted that the transition to electric vehicles must not come at the expense of autoworkers, their families, and communities. We commend TMC for showing companies that the way forward should include respect for the rights of their future workforce to join together and collectively bargain for good wages, benefits, and working conditions.”
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