Workers at a General Motors-LG Energy battery plant in northeast Ohio voted overwhelmingly to unionize with the United Auto Workers.
The factory employees at Ultium Cells LLC won by 710 to 16 votes in favor of joining the union, according to Reuters. Ultium released a statement adding that it respected the decision of its workers to join UAW and said, “We look forward to a positive working relationship with the UAW.”
The National Labor Relations Board confirmed the results of the election. The vote was considered an essential test for unions to organize at plants transitioning to all-electric cars and trucks. Chrysler, Ford and GM are working to produce more battery plants alongside investors from South Korea.
After a large number of the 900 workers at the Ohio plant signed a card in October requesting the UAW to represent them, the UAW created the petition to officially unionize.
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“Our entire union welcomes our latest members from Ultium,” said UAW President Ray Curry in a statement released on Friday morning. “As the auto industry transitions to electric vehicles, new workers entering the auto sector at plants like Ultium are thinking about their value and worth.”
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“This vote shows that they want to be a part of maintaining the high standards and wages that UAW members have built in the auto industry,” Curry added.
The plant started operating full-time in August and is the first of four planned battery factories in the U.S. by Ultium.
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