GM Ultium battery plant ratifies UAW contract deal with big pay increase


GM Ultium battery plant ratifies UAW contract deal with big pay increase

Workers at GM’s Ultium battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio have voted to ratify their UAW contract deal with GM, earning big pay increases as they are brought under the national UAW/GM master agreement.

Soon after GM’s Ultium plant opened, workers had noted high turnover at the plant, as workers found they could move to other skilled trades and earn higher pay than the ~$15/hr that GM was initially offering. This pay was much lower than the auto industry average, and much lower than the pay that had been offered at the Lordstown plant before it was converted to a battery factory.

In addition, workers were concerned over lax manufacturing health and safety processes.

And so, the plant ended up first voting to unionize with UAW in late 2022. This won the workers there a 25% pay increase, but that was just the start of it.

Soon after that initial agreement, the UAW went on strike nationally, covering all three of the major American automakers. That strike ended up as a big success for the UAW, which won big pay increases across all three automakers.

As part of those agreements, GM agreed to bring its battery plants under the UAW master agreement, rather than treating the plants as suppliers which generally have lower pay.

Now the UAW has negotiated a new agreement with GM, bringing the Ultium plant up to speed with big pay increases and several other worker protections too.

The contract was presented to workers last week, and workers voted over the last few days. Once the ballots were counted, 98% of workers had voted to ratify the contract.

The benefits are myriad and the pay scale is complex, but some workers will see their pay more than doubled from pre-union rates. Over the next few years, some workers will see their wages raised up to ~$35-40/hr, whereas back in 2022 employees would start around $15-16/hr.

There’s also better overtime, certain paid days off, and union health & safety representatives.

You can see a full list of highlights of the plan on UAW’s website.

UAW has been making a lot of moves in the past year. Beyond the strikes themselves, we’ve seen UAW launch a campaign to unionize all other automakers in America, and just last week we saw a fledgling unionization drive at Tesla.

We also recently saw the VW plant in Chattanooga vote to unionize, making history as the first foreign-owned automaker plant in the US to join UAW, and the first newly unionized auto plant in the US South in a long time. It had previously been the only nonunion plant owned by VW globally.

But beyond that, UAW’s wins have already started improving pay across the rest of the industry. Immediately after the new deals were announced, several other automakers raised wages in response, showing how union wins can help to buoy pay across an industry, even for nonunion workers.

However, UAW’s momentum was slowed recently as it failed to unionize a Mercedes plant in Alabama after Mercedes hired anti-union firms to sway employees against the vote. Mercedes actions are subject to an unfair labor practices case that is being investigated by the NLRB and by the German government.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Auto Inc invested Rs 14,043 till March end under PLI scheme for automobile, components | Autocar Professional

The Indian automotive sector invested Rs 14,043 crore till March end under the government’s production-linked…

India to seek licenses to scout Pacific Ocean for critical minerals – ET Auto

The 36-member ISA council is meeting in Jamaica this month to negotiate the latest draft…

2024 Hyundai Alcazar spotted again: Revealing new details. Here’s what to expect

By: HT Auto Desk | Updated on: 22 Jul 2024, 11:19 AM Spy shots reveal…