The UAW union president is optimistic about a quick deal with battery company GM-LG | Jobs Vox


WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – United Auto Workers (UAW) President Ray Curry said on Monday he was optimistic the union could quickly reach a deal with General Motors ( GM.N ) and LG Energy Solution ( 373220.KS ) battery cell hope said on Monday. joint venture.

Last week, workers at the Ultium Cells LLC plant in northeast Ohio voted overwhelmingly to join the UAW, a major victory for the union seeking to organize the growing electric vehicle supply industry.

The closely watched vote was a critical test of the UAW’s ability to organize workers who make electric vehicle parts. The Detroit Three automakers all have battery factories working with South Korean partners, and Ultium is building two separate U.S. battery plants in Tennessee and Michigan.

“We’re very optimistic that we’ll be able to close the deal quickly between the partners, because after that we have two other areas to negotiate,” Curry said during a news conference with U.S. officials in Dearborn to discuss the battery workforce.

Tom Gallagher, Ultium Cells LLC’s vice president of operations, said at a press conference that “we will work as quickly as possible to implement a collective agreement,” but did not specify a timeline.

He said it was too early to tell how the union deal would affect labor costs or the structure of the business.

The Detroit Three’s four-year labor contract with the UAW expires in September.

Ultium is building a $2.6 billion plant in Michigan that is slated to open in 2024. This month, Ultium said it would increase its investment by $275 million in plans to build a $2.3 billion plant in Tennessee.

On Monday, the Department of Energy finalized a $2.5 billion low-cost government loan for Ultium to pay for the construction of the three plants.

Separately, Curry said the union would try to convince Chrysler parent Stellantis ( STLA.MI ) to add new products to its Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant, which makes Jeep SUVs.

Stellantis cited EV costs Friday in its decision to shut down the plant in February, affecting 1,350 workers.

“We’re very hopeful that there will be future production at that location,” Curry said.

Presentation by David Shepardson; Directed by David Gregorio

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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