Agreement Doubles Wages for UAW Workers at Ultium Cells' Ohio Plant

The workers producing batteries for GM's EVs will vote on ratifying the contract, which will more than double wages.

Ultium-Cells-UAW-contract
The Ultium Cells plant in Ohio makes batteries for GM's EVs, including the Cadillac LYRIQ.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Ultium Cells have reached a historic tentative agreement at the Lordstown, OH, facility. The agreement, announced June 10, promises substantial wage increases and enhanced safety measures for UAW Local 1112 workers producing EV batteries for General Motors vehicles.

“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 in a news release. “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.”

The local agreement builds on the successes achieved through the national contract Ultium Cells workers joined as a major win during last year's Stand Up Strike.

“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.”

The journey to this tentative agreement has been arduous for the workers at Ultium Cells. UAW Region 2B Director David Green recounted the challenges faced since the closure of GM's Lordstown Assembly plant five years ago, describing it as a “major gut punch.” He noted, “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," said UAW Local 1112 Shop Chairman Josh Ayers. "Negotiating this contract was no different. 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.”

With the tentative agreement in place, the 1,600 UAW members at Ultium Cells will review its details and hold a ratification vote in the coming days. If ratified, this agreement will not only set a new standard for EV battery workers but also mark a significant step forward in the transition to electric vehicles.

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