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Ford Rival GM Reaches Deal With UAW Over Battery Plant

Even before the United Auto Workers (UAW) engaged in a targeted strike against the Detroit Big Three automakers – Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis – last year, the union was already eyeing existing and future battery plants as its next targets. After all, those plants – expected to employ thousands of workers – are ripe for organizing, and now, as the UAW works to unionize other automotive plants in the U.S. that aren’t operated by the Big Three, it has secured a tentative deal at one of those battery plants as well.

That facility is the Ultium Cells Lordstown plant in Ohio, according to GM Authority, as the UAW has reached a tentative deal with Ford’s cross-town rival that is separate from the one the two sides hammered out last fall for GM’s other factory workers. The new deal will result in pay raises that will take the starting wage there from $20 per hour up to $26.91, which is slated to rise to $35 by the conclusion of the contract. Additionally, the deal contains a 30-percent wage increase over three years for some workers, as well as a $3,000 ratification bonus. However, the 1,600 workers at the Ultium plant must still vote to ratify the deal before it becomes official.

“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.”

This move will indeed have ripple effects across the industry, just a few months after the UAW dedicated $40 million toward its efforts to unionize EV plants. The union has long sought to organize those facilities, even before construction ends and hiring begins. In fact, negotiations got pretty heated last fall when Ford announced that it was pausing construction at the BlueOval Battery Park Michigan plant due to the costs involved, news that came as it was jockeying for position in those contract talks.

We’ll have more on the UAW soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford-UAW news, UAW news, and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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