94% of workers at Lordstown Ultium Cells vote to strike for union recognition
94% of workers at GM’s new Ultium Cells battery plant in Lordstown voted Friday to strike for recognition by General Motors.
Now that the vote has been passed, UAW 1112 President, Darwin Cooper tells 21 News the next step is to wait for word from UAW International to learn if GM will recognize the union, or if they will need to strike to gain that bargaining recognition. That process could take several weeks.
If Ultium accepts to recognize the union, UAW 1112 and UAW International will go into negotiations.
Union officials tell 21 News that last month, 85% of the workers signed union authorization cards.
“There has been an overwhelming show of interest in organizing from people working at this facility. They are adamant that they want a union at Ultium and that the UAW is their choice,” wrote UAW Regional 2B Director Wayne Blanchard in a statement.
"Both sides send up losing usually when there's a strike but there are times you have to strike. These workers are underpaid. We're getting reports of a lot of health and safety concerns coming out of that plant," said UAW President Darwin Cooper said, "We want that company to be successful, we want to help them be successful. It's important to this Valley, not just to the workers there or this union."
Production at the plant recently got underway.
Ultium Cells issued the following statement on the labor situation earlier this week:
Ultium Cells LLC respects workers’ right to unionize and the efforts of the UAW or any other union to organize battery cell manufacturing workers at our manufacturing sites. Ultium Cells has every intention of complying with the National Labor Relations Act, which protects our employees’ right to decide the issue of union representation through a voluntary democratic election conducted by the NLRB.