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Autoworker union accuses GM’s joint venture of denying access for organizing


On Sept. 25, 2019, Striking United Auto Workers members, and their supporters, attended a speech given by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly facility.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union is accusing a new General MotorsA joint venture of workers being denied access to vote in a preliminary organizing election.

Terry Dittes (UAW Vice President), in a Tuesday letter to union members obtained by CNBC, stated that leaders of the joint venture between GM Energy Solution and LG Energy Solution were among them. called Ultium CellsThe union has “flat out rejected”, the proposition of a card check agreement to determine interest in organizing.

Dittes stated that the agreement will allow union representatives to enter the joint venture’s Ohio battery plant to collect organizing cards. This is a first step towards establishing UAW representation in the facility.

Dittes stated in the letter that “This process was agreed to by many employers. This will allow for smooth and peaceful recognition” of the UAW. We proposed the basic elements of card recognition, but Ultium rejected them flatly.

UAW representatives did not respond to GM’s questions immediately. GM referred any questions to Ultium’s spokeswoman. She confirmed that the company had spoken with UAW regarding the matter but could not reach an agreement.

Brooke Waid, Ultium spokesperson said that the UAW expressed an interest in representing part of the Ultium Cells workforce. She also stated in a statement that initial talks had been held around a Neutrality Agreement which could allow a card-check process to be conducted at Warren’s Ohio facility. We support the ability for our members to choose their representation status. This is an individual choice.

This contention is occurring amid an overall union organizing effort in the country. Large corporations like Starbucks AmazonThey have tried to get representation.

GM executives stated that workers would vote on any organization at its joint venture facilities. Mary Barra, GM CEO has indicated that these positions will be paying approximately $40,000 per year. lower than top wagesThe automaker promises that there will be many “very well-paid jobs” at its assembly plants.

Ultium Cells announced the opening of three U.S. facilities but none has yet been operational. It is the $2.3 billion Lordstown plantProduction is scheduled to start in August. Northeast Ohio will see 1,100 new jobs created by the plant. In 2019, GM closed the Lordstown Assembly Plant, eliminating 1,700 UAW-represented hourly jobs.

Dittes informed members in a letter that they have started an organizing drive to get the facility. Additional details, however, “cannot” be revealed or made public.

Dittes declared that she would represent employees in the Ultium site and all future sites. We will not slow down organizing workers who wish to join our Union.

The joint venture battery facility is crucial to the growth and expansion of the labor union, because automakers like GM transition to electric vehicles.The organizing efforts of the union also take place ahead of a critical leadership vote in this summer and collective bargaining negotiations with GM next year. Ford Motor Stellantis.