Ultium Cells LLC and the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union are set to negotiate their first labor contract for workers at the new Ultium battery plant in Ohio.
Per a report from The Detroit News, UAW spokesperson Sandra Engle recently confirmed in a statement that the UAW and Ultium Cells LLC would begin labor contract negotiations this coming January. Ultium Cells is a joint venture between General Motors and South Korean chemical company LG Energy Solution, and was formed to mass-produce batteries for use in GM electric vehicles, as well as for GM business partners such as Honda and Acura.
Ultium Cells’ battery production facility in Warren, Ohio is the first of four battery facilities on the horizon for the company. Ultium Cells also plans to open a new battery facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee, as well as a plant in Delta Township, Michigan. The fourth facility is under consideration for a site in Indiana.
Looking ahead, the UAW will seek to unionize at the new Ultium Cells facilities currently under construction as well. Earlier in December, workers at the Ultium Cells plant in Ohio voted in favor of representation by the UAW after Ultium pushed back on a card-check organizing effort at the facility. In lieu of fast-tracking UAW representation through the card check authorization process, which would have eliminated the need for an election and allowed plant hourly workers to sign cards in support of UAW representation, the UAW was prompted to conduct an election administered by the National Labor Relations Board instead.
In a statement, Ultium Cells spokesperson Brooke Waid said that the company “is committed to the collective bargaining process, and will work in good faith with the UAW to reach a competitive agreement that positions our employees and our Ohio battery cell manufacturing facility for success.”
“We look forward to a positive working relationship with the UAW,” Waid added.
The Ultium Cells facility in Ohio began production operations this past September.