LORDSTOWN, Ohio – UAW workers at Ultium Cells voted 895 to 22 over the weekend to ratify an interim agreement that immediately raises wages $3 to $4 an hour and provides thousands of dollars in back pay for hundreds of workers.
The interim deal came after months of negotiations and an ongoing UAW campaign to win justice for electric vehicle workers at Ultium and across the country. Negotiations for a complete first contract will continue between the union’s elected bargaining committee and Ultium Cells, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution.
“UAW members at Ultium are proving that we can raise standards at the electric vehicle facilities coming on line across America,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “This agreement is an important step forward, but it’s only the first step. We will keep fighting at Ultium and all EV plants to win the same strong pay and safety standards that generations of autoworkers have won at GM, Ford and Stellantis.”
“This overwhelming vote in favor of the interim agreement sends us back to the bargaining table with even more energy,” said Josh Ayers, chairman of the UAW bargaining committee at Ultium. “We will keep negotiating for a comprehensive contract that is transformative not only for our UAW family but also for our surrounding communities. This ratification vote brings us one step closer to making Ultium Cells a real career and not just a job.”
Ultium Cells produces battery cells for GM’s growing electric vehicle fleet and is expected to qualify for more than $1 billion a year in federal tax credits when it is running at full capacity. Workers at Ultium Cells won their union in a landslide vote of 710 to 16 in December, 2022—becoming the first in the nation to successfully unionize at a large battery cell production plant. Workers organized in response to serious health and safety concerns and poverty wages.
Both the dangerous conditions and poverty wages were extensively documented in a case study recently published by the UAW, entitled “High Risk & Low Pay: Hazardous Conditions and Low Wages Show Standards Must be Raised at Battery Cells Plants Getting Billions in Taxpayer Dollars.”
The UAW will continue to bargain over further wage increases until it has reached a complete first agreement with Ultium Cells.
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