As GM Authority previously covered, Ultium Cells LLC – the joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution – claimed that there isn’t a viable way to include it’s workers in the United Auto Workers (UAW) union’s national labor contract. Now, a U.S. Senator is stating that the joint venture has no valid excuse for not folding its workers into the contract.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement regarding Ultium Cells LLC’s claims. “This response is just more excuses from a bunch of overpaid, out-of-touch executives. In case they didn’t read my letter the first time, I’ll keep it simple: fold your workers into the national UAW contract – just like GM, Ford, and Stellantis – and pay them what they deserve to be paid.”
For reference, 28 other U.S Senators have also been calling on Ultium Cells workers to be included in national labor agreements before current contracts expire in September 2023. They have condemned the joint venture for paying low wages at its Ohio plant, and noted that current workers make half as much as former workers did at the former GM Lordstown assembly plant.
If the Ultium Cells LLC workers were to be included under the current national labor agreement, they would likely receive better pay and benefits.
Of course, GM Authority has been closely following labor negotiations between General Motors and the UAW, the latter of which has been attempting to elicit the help of the U.S government. In fact, UAW Present Shawn Fain was in Washington D.C for some time meeting various representatives, including a brief sit-down with U.S. President Joe Biden, in an attempt to garner more support for the labor union.
For now, negotiations are ongoing, as the UAW is fighting for retiree benefits, cost-of-living adjustments, and the aforementioned unionization of the GM Ultium battery plants, among a wealth of other items. It’s worth noting that the labor union has stated that it isn’t afraid to go on strike if it doesn’t receive what it perceives as a fair offering from the Big Three.