General Motors (NYSE:GM) joint venture with South Korean tech firm LG Energy, Ultium Cells, is facing a fight with the United Auto Workers.
The union said on Monday that it has filed petition for a union election to represent 900 workers at Ultium’s Ohio factor with the National Labor Relations Board.
“A majority of Ultium workers have signed cards authorizing the UAW to represent them,” UAW President Ray Curry said. “By refusing to recognize their majority will, Ultium – which is a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution – has decided to ignore democracy and delay the recognition process. Make no mistake: whether it is by card check or union election, these workers will be members of the UAW.”
General Motors describes the Warren, Ohio factory as a “2.8M-square-foot operation” dedicated to “the most advanced and efficient battery cell manufacturing processes” for the automaker. The union said that discussions with management to represent the workers had dragged on for a number of months before falling through.
“We had hoped Ultium would have done the right thing so we can get on with the business of bargaining and addressing the serious health and safety issues in the plant,” George Goranitis, a Lead in the Electrode Department, was quoted as saying by the union. “This decision by Ultium reminds every one of us why we need to form our union as the company does not care about our interests. We are ready to win our election.”
Shares of General Motors (GM) marked a modest gain into afternoon trading on Monday.
Read more on recent supplier agreements for Ultium.