A Guest Contribution from CLN Member Pamela Keresztesy
Ultium Cells, LLC, a battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, is a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions. The plant mass produces batteries to support GM’s electrical vehicle assembly and for other industries including aerospace, marine, heavy trucking, and rail.
During the construction process, GM had no issues with intended unionization by the United Auto Workers (UAW) and stated it respects workers’ rights to organize and that the UAW was “well-positioned to represent the workforce.”
Now, in 2022, Ultium Cells has not recognized the UAW as the bargaining entity for the workers. Union officials claim 85% of the employees have signed union authorization cards. That is more than enough cards for Ultium Cells to voluntarily recognize the union.
The UAW held a vote to authorize a strike for recognition on September 9, 2022, and claims 94% of the workers have voted to strike for recognition. Although the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) allows voluntary recognition if 50% of workers sign union authorization cards, Ultium Cells wants an election conducted by the NLRB.