July 7, 2022

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Auto Workers Union accuses GM joint venture of refusing entry in order to organize

Auto Workers Union accuses GM joint venture of refusing entry in order to organize

Members and supporters of the striking United Auto Workers attend a speech delivered by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders outside General Motors’ Detroit Hamtramck assembly plant on September 25, 2019 in Detroit.

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union accuses a new person general motors A joint venture to deny workers access for an initial regulatory vote.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, in a letter to union leaders obtained by CNBC on Tuesday, said the leaders of the joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, called Ultium cells“categorically rejected” the union’s proposal for a “card verification agreement” for regulation.

Deets said the agreement would allow union officials access to the joint venture battery plant in Ohio to collect regulation cards, as one of the first steps to establish UAW representation at the facility.

“This process has been approved by many employers for the smooth and peaceful recognition of the UAW,” Deets said in the letter. “Ultium flatly rejected those basic, basic features of card checking that we proposed.”

UAW did not immediately respond to comment. GM referred questions to a Ultium spokeswoman, who confirmed that the company had spoken with UAW about the process but no agreement had been reached.

“UAW has expressed an interest in representing a portion of the Ultium Cells workforce and we have had initial discussions about a neutrality agreement that could enable the card verification process at our facility in Warren, Ohio,” Ultium spokeswoman Brooke Waid said in a statement. Waid in a statement. “We are, and always have been, supportive of the process that allows our employees to determine their representation status, and it is a matter of personal choice.”

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The dispute comes amid a broader union organizing effort across the country, as workers from big companies such as Starbucks And the Amazon He sought to establish representation.

GM leaders said when announcing the plant in 2019 that any regulation at the company’s joint venture facilities would be up to workers to vote on. General Motors CEO Mary Barra said the positions are expected to pay off Less than maximum wages In any case, in car assembly plants they will be “very well-paid jobs.”

Ultium Cells has announced three US facilities, although none have become operational. The Lordstown Factory $2.3 billion Production is expected to start in August. It is expected to create 1,100 jobs in northeastern Ohio. General Motors closed its plant next door to Lordstown in 2019, eliminating the 1,700 hourly jobs represented by the UAW.

In the letter to members, Deets said the union had begun an organizational campaign for the facility, but that additional details “cannot be disclosed at this time or made public.”

“We will represent employees there and at all future Ultium sites currently under construction,” Deets said. “We will not slow down in organizing workers who want to join our union!”

Joint venture battery facilities are seen as essential to union growth and the addition of members, such as automakers such as General Motors transition to electric vehicles. The union’s organizational efforts also come ahead of this summer’s crucial leadership vote as well as next year’s collective bargaining negotiations with General Motors, Ford Motor And the Stilants.

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