The United Auto Workers’ Union (UAW) has filed a lawsuit against Ultium Cells, a joint venture of GM’s battery makers, alleging denial of access to workers for conducting preliminary organized voting.
UAW’s vice president, Terry Diettes, wrote in a letter to union leaders that he “flat out” rejected the union’s offer of a “card check agreement” to organize a joint venture between GM and LG Energy, CNBC reported, which received a copy. Of letters
The agreement would allow union officials to enter an ultium cell plant in Ohio to collect organizing cards (which have not yet been launched). While the move could be the first step towards establishing its presence at the plant, there is some controversy.
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“This process has been agreed upon by many employers for a smooth and peaceful recognition of the UAW,” Detes said in the letter. “Ultimate Flatout has rejected those common basic features of our proposed card check recognition.”
In April 2021, former UAW President Rory Gamble expressed concern about joint ventures to create batteries that do not require union-representation, unlike other GM plants.
“We need to make sure that the work is at a living wage and that the workers can organize,” Gamble said at the time. “We do not need another service sector in this country. This is my fear. It would not be good for the economy if these jobs were low-wage jobs. “
Although the ultimatum did not deny the claims made in the letter, a spokesman said it allowed workers to choose whether they wanted to be represented by the UAW.
“UAW has expressed interest in representing a portion of the Ultium Cell workforce and we have held preliminary talks on a neutrality agreement that could enable a card check process at our convenience in Warren, Ohio,” Ultimate spokesman Brooke Wide said in a statement. “We have always been supportive of the process that allows our people to determine the status of their own representation, which is a matter of personal choice.”
General Motors and UAW recently clashed, including the longest auto strike in recent memory, just before the epidemic began.
The first of three ultimatum cell plants planned for America, Lordstown, Ohio, the aforementioned plant is likely to affect the more than 1,100 workers it will operate. This plant makes sense especially because it is next to a plant that had 1,700 union-representative workers that GM shut down in 2019.
The UAW letter, meanwhile, just a day before GM’s Detroit rival Ford, reported that it would hire 6,200 more union workers and provide them with better benefits.
Dietz, however, was about the possibility of union at the Ultium Cells plant, despite this alleged push.
“We will represent the staff there and at all future Ultium sites currently under construction,” he wrote in the letter. “We will not be slow to organize workers who want to join our union!”