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EV Unionization

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It’s not surprising that the first union contract at an all-EV company would come in the old Lordstown plant, home of one of the most important strikes of the 1970s. But when GM closed that plant, the workers lost their union. Now they have it back.

“Eighteen months ago, this company was on a low road path to poverty wages, unsafe conditions, and a dark future for battery workers in America,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “Ultium workers said, ‘Hell no,’ got organized, and fought back. Now they’ve more than doubled their wages by the end of this contract, won record health and safety language, and showed the world what it means to win a just transition.”

“We were told at the beginning of bargaining that Ultium workers would never be allowed to join the UAW’s national agreement at GM,” said UAW Vice President Mike Booth. “Not only did we prove them wrong, but we did them one better, winning a major local agreement that sets the standard for the EV battery industry.”

“Five years ago, when they closed Lordstown Assembly, it was a major gut punch – I know, I lived it,” said UAW Region 2B Director David Green. “They wrote Lordstown off for dead. They thought we’d settle for low wages and unsafe jobs. They thought wrong, and now Ultium workers are leading the way.”

“Organizing to win our union took relentless persistence on behalf of hundreds of my coworkers at Ultium. Negotiating this contract was no different,” said UAW Local 1112 Shop Chairman Josh Ayers. “We want this agreement to become a cornerstone for current and future battery plants across the nation. First we planned. Then we took action. And now we have a tentative agreement to be proud of.”

It also helps to get the UAW back on a winning streak after the Alabama loss.

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