The Battery-Plant Battleground Of The UAW

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Auto Manufacturing, Corruption, Industry, Strikes, UAW, Union Organizing

A pesky, long-running corruption streak (and a federal watchdog) won’t deter the UAW from attempting to refill their coffers with member dues. The UAW is doing everything possible to organize EV battery plants as gasoline continues to go increasingly out of vogue amid a time of high prices.

Already, workers at Ohio’s Ultium Cells LLC plant (jointly owned by GM and LG Energy Solution) voted to strike in order to force company recognition of their representation with the UAW. Ultium declared plans to hold out for an NLRB-certified vote; naturally, the union would rather leverage a possible strike at a plant that staffs 800+ workers.

That threat became reality at a non-battery-related automaker facility. At Indiana’s 1,200-worker Stellantis casting plant (in Kokomo), workers went on a weekend-long strike to protest hot working conditions. All the while, Stellantis continued to proceed with ongoing plans for a Kokomo battery plant (that will staff 1,400 workers). Perhaps in an effort to get in front of the issue, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares took a notable stance at the recent Detroit auto show. He declared his lack of opposition to unions, with which he has “zero problem” regarding battery plants.

Elsewhere in Detroit, Stellantis supplier Dakkota Integrated Systems voted to join the UAW and begin contract negotiations, proving that this union still wants to leave no manufacturing stone unturned.

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