Ultium Workers OK UAW Bargaining Agreement with GM

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – Hourly workers at Ultium Cells LLC’s plant on Tuesday evening overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bargaining agreement that would place them under the scope of a national contract between the United Auto Workers and General Motors Co.

Workers voted 97% to 3% in favor of the agreement after two days of voting at the plant, a union official confirmed late Tuesday.

The four and a half year tentative master agreement grants 25% in base wage increases through April 2028 and will cumulatively raise the top wage by 33%, compounded with estimated cost of living adjustments to over $42 an hour, according to the UAW.

Production workers at Ultium would receive an hourly wage of $26.91, which would increase to $30.88 through the length of the agreement. They would also receive a $5,000 ratification bonus. Skilled-trade workers at the plant would earn $31.80 per hour and increase to $36.49 per hour by September of 2027, according to the UAW.

The agreement also opens the opportunity for those workers who were once employed at GM’s Lordstown plant to return to the Mahoning Valley and work at Ultium.

The GM agreement removes several wage tiers, and GM salaried workers would receive a general wage increase equivalent to that of hourly workers, the UAW has said.

In December, workers at Ultium’s Lordstown plant overwhelmingly voted to join the UAW during an election managed by the National Labor Relations Board.

Ultium, a joint venture between GM and Korea-based LG Energy Solution, was initially excluded from national discussions relating to a master agreement under GM. That changed after the UAW initiated a strike against the Big 3 automakers – GM, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis – and negotiated toward a new master agreement.

GM and the UAW reached a tentative master agreement in late October. The agreement must still be ratified by the UAW’s membership.

In August, hourly workers at Ultium’s Lordstown plant approved an interim agreement that boosted wages by an average of 25%.

The interim wage agreement was ratified by a margin of 97.6%, the company said in a statement. More than 1,750 workers at Ultium’s Lordstown plant are represented by the UAW.

That agreement would be superseded by the national contract tentatively agreed to by the UAW and GM.

Pictured at top: Photo by Gene J. Puskar (Associated Press)

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