Biden Praises UAW Vote at Ultium Plant in Lordstown
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Friday congratulated workers at Ultium Cells LLC’s plant in Lordstown for electing to join the United Auto Workers union – a step that he said helps grow the country’s middle class.
“Congratulations to the newest members of the United Auto Workers at the Ultium Cells LLC EV battery plant in Warren, Ohio,” Biden said in a statement issued from the White House this afternoon. “I ran for president to rebuild the middle class. The middle class built America – and unions built the middle class. My economic plan is creating good-paying jobs that you can raise a family on – many that don’t require a college degree – and provide the free and fair choice to join a union.”
On Thursday, workers at Ultium voted 710 to 16 in favor of joining the UAW after a two-day election managed by the National Labor Relations Board.
Ultium, a joint venture between General Motors Co. and South Korea-based LG Energy Solution, manufactures cells used in electric-vehicle batteries.
“By rebuilding our infrastructure and our manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries and semiconductors, these jobs will bring our supply chains back home and tackle the climate crisis at the same time, “ Biden said. “In my administration, American and union workers can and will lead the world in manufacturing once again.”
The vote at Ultium represents a milestone for organized labor as the auto industry transitions to electric vehicles, analysts have said. Ultium is in the process of building two additional factories in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Lansing, Mich.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also voiced his support for the vote and urged the parties to reach an agreement quickly.
“Workers at the Lordstown plant have spoken,” Brown said in a press statement. “They have resoundingly voted to join the UAW. I look forward to seeing Ultium quickly move to put a collective bargaining agreement in place.”
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13, said in an earlier statement that “see[ing] Ultium Cells workers vote to unionize and gain a voice in their workplace is overdue, but we know that we still have a lot of work to do. With Ultium, Foxconn, and TJX/Homegoods, we have created opportunities for our young people to thrive, and the future is bright in the Mahoning Valley.”
The Biden administration has openly supported the conversion to electric vehicles, including $7.5 billion in the infrastructure bill that supports the growth of EV charging stations across the country.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.