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Boosting Pay for Hourly Workers at GM Joint Venture Sparks Monday Motivation!

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Boosting Pay for Hourly Workers at GM Joint Venture Sparks Monday Motivation!
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The joint-venture battery plant owned by General Motors (GM) and Ultium Cells LLC in Ohio is set to give a wage increase to about 1,100 hourly workers beginning Monday. The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Ultium Cells LLC confirmed that the union-represented workforce at the plant near Lordstown, Ohio, ratified an interim wage increase with an acceptance vote of 97.6%. The agreement, reached last week, will provide an immediate pay increase averaging 25% to all current Ultium Cells hourly employees. Workers who previously earned $16.50 an hour will now see their wages increase to a little over $20 an hour.

In addition to the hourly rate boost, eligible employees will also receive back pay for every hour worked since December 23, 2020, when the workforce chose to unionize. Depending on the number of hours worked, current employees stand to receive between $3,000 and $7,000 in back pay.

Josh Ayers, chairman of UAW Local 1112, which represents the hourly workers at the plant, expressed optimism about the wage increase, stating that it is a step toward transforming the work at Ultium Cells into a rewarding career rather than just a job. The joint venture, owned by GM and battery maker LG Energy Solution, produces battery cells for GM’s electric vehicles (EVs) using the Ultium propulsion system. Vehicles such as the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and Chevrolet Blazer EV are powered by these batteries.

The UAW International commented on the interim wage increase, stating that it is a significant step forward but only the first one. Negotiations for a complete first contract will continue. UAW President Shawn Fain emphasized the importance of raising standards at EV facilities and ensuring that workers receive fair pay and safety standards. Fain has been critical of joint ventures in the past, advocating for bringing the Ultium Cell workforce under the national agreement between the UAW and GM, Ford, and Stellantis.

The successful interim wage increase at the Ultium plant may signal positive news for Ultium’s other two plants in Tennessee and Lansing, which are also likely to consider union representation. Additionally, GM plans to build a fourth battery plant in Indiana, further expanding its EV production capabilities.

In summary, approximately 1,100 hourly workers at the GM joint-venture battery plant in Ohio will receive a significant wage increase starting Monday. The agreement, which was ratified by the UAW and Ultium Cells LLC, will provide an average pay increase of 25% to all current employees. In addition, eligible workers will receive back pay for hours worked since December 2020. This wage increase signifies progress in negotiations for a comprehensive agreement and sets a positive precedent for workers in the EV industry.

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