General Motors expects it will work with the United Auto Workers union at its Ultium Cells LLC battery plants in the United States.
Speaking to Reuters this week, GM executive vice president Gerald Johnson said the company expects to “work together with the UAW going forward,” at its Ultium Cells LLC battery plants, though he refrained from outright endorsing unionization at the facilities.
“We are supportive of the UAW, we are partners with the UAW. We believe there has been good that has come out of that partnership and that good is transferrable to other operations,” Johnson was quoted as saying.
While GM assembly plants in the U.S. are staffed by UAW workforces, the Ultium battery plants are operated by a separate company called Ultium Cells LLC – the result of a joint venture partnership between the automaker and Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution. Ultium Cells LLC is in the process of building two separate battery plants in the United States, one in Ohio and another in Tennessee – representative of a $4.6 billion combined investment that will ultimately create 2,400 jobs.
GM CEO Mary Barra said previously that the Ultium Cells LLC jobs would follow the automaker’s pay structure for components plants, which typically pay less than jobs on vehicle assembly lines. The top UAW wage at assembly plants is around $32 an hour, while components plants workers could make half that or $10 less an hour.
The Ultium Cells LLC plants will produce GM’s new line of Ultium battery packs, which will range in size from 50 kWh to 200 kWh. The 200 kWh battery pack will enable certain future GM EVs to travel up to 400 miles on a single charge, the automaker claims. The Ultium batteries will also be used in future Honda and Acura electric vehicles as part of the two company’s technology sharing partnership.