Ultium Workers OK Pay Raise Agreement
LORDSTOWN, Ohio – Hourly workers at Ultium Cells LLC’s plant here have overwhelmingly approved an interim agreement that boosts wages by an average of 25%, the company announced Sunday.
The interim wage agreement was ratified by a margin of 97.6%, the company said in a statement. More than 1,100 workers at Ultium’s Lordstown plant are represented by the United Auto Workers.
In December, workers at the Lordstown plant voted to join the UAW during an election managed by the National Labor Relations Board at the plant.
Negotiations between the UAW and Ultium are ongoing toward a final collective bargaining agreement.
In addition to this immediate hourly rate increase, all eligible team members will receive back pay for every hour worked since Dec. 23, 2022, Ultium said. Any current employee who has worked since that date can receive payments of $3,000 to $7,000, based on hours worked.
“This is the right action to take for our team members and is the result of constructive and meaningful dialogue with our local union leadership,” Ultium spokeswoman Katie Burdette said in a statement.
“This is just a first step to reward our team for their hard work and dedication to ensuring Ultium Cells’ success in leading a transformation of American transportation,” the statement said. “We continue to bargain in good faith with the UAW and are committed to reaching an agreement on a comprehensive contract for our employees, including a final wage scale.
Ultium Cells-Ohio is the only union-organized battery cell plant operating in the U.S.
“This weekend, the UAW Local 1112 brothers and sisters at Ultium Cells have spoken by casting their vote concertedly in favor of this interim wage increase,” said Josh Ayers, UAW Local 1112 chairman. “There is still a lot of work ahead in the bargaining process, including a wage package which will not only be life changing for the hourly workforce, but transform our work from ‘just a job’ to a career,” he said.
“Ultium Cells can and should be a highly desirable place to work. I truly believe this is achievable in collaboration with the UAW and Ultium Cells,” Ayers continued. “The UAW Local 1112 bargaining committee will continue to bargain on a comprehensive contract for continued development and growth at Ultium Cells.”
Ultium Ohio Plant Director Kareem Maine said the vote is evidence that talks between the UAW and Ultium are moving forward.
“This vote further reinforces that Ultium and the UAW are making progress toward reaching a comprehensive agreement, which will lead to a meaningful contract for our team members,” he said in a statement. “This interim wage increase is a positive first step in the right direction. I look forward to sharing news in the future that demonstrates our continued commitment to our team members and the growth of Ultium Cells as we pioneer a new industry in America.”
Pictured at top: Ultium Cells plant in Lordstown, Ohio. AP Photo by Gene J. Pushar.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.