Ultium Cells, which is operated by a joint operating agreement between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, announced Thursday an across-the-board interim wage increase for hourly employees.

That interim wage increase was approved overwhelmingly by Ultium workers on Sunday in a vote, with 895 in favor of the proposal and 22 against. 

The current starting wage at the plant for workers is $15.50 for the electric battery manufacturing facility.

Ultium Cells head of public relations Katie Burdette said that the average wage increase is 25 percent.

The new pay scale obtained by 21 News shows the lowest paid part-time workers now starting at $17.00 per hour and higher, increasing to a minimum of $17.85 after 6 months or 1000 hours worked.

For others at the plant, the new pay scale has workers starting between $18.00 and $34.00 depending on their role at Ultium, with operators now starting at $20.00, increasing to $21.00 after 6 months or 1000 hours.

Overall, production workers will now start between $20.00 and $24.00, equipment maintenance workers will start between $25.00 and $32.00, and facilities workers will start between $27.00 and $34.00.

Burdette cited the raises as a result of "constructive and meaningful dialogue with our local union leadership and pending a membership ratification vote."

Raises will be implemented on August 28 following their overwhelming ratification on Sunday. The interim wage increase will be retroactive for employees who have worked at the facility since December 23. Ultium estimates the backpay to vary from $3,000 to $7,000, based on hours worked.

"We continue to bargain in good faith with the UAW to reach a comprehensive contract for our employees, including a final wage scale," Burdette said.

Josh Ayers, UAW Local 1112 chairman, said “This interim wage increase is only the first step as we progress towards a fair and comprehensive contract for the dedicated UAW Local 1112 Membership as a result of the bargaining process. The UAW Local 1112 members working at Ultium Cells deserve this increase for being essential in getting the plant up and running."

Ultium Ohio Plant Director Kareem Maine said, “This agreement is a significant and meaningful step as we continue to negotiate collaboratively and in good faith with the UAW to reach a comprehensive contract.”

Later Thursday evening, Senator Sherrod Brown, who has long voiced his support for the Ultium Workers, issued the following statement:

“Ultium’s success hinges on these skilled workers’ historic expertise in the auto industry. Today’s announcement means more money in Lordstown workers’ pockets, and is a step in the right direction toward securing a full union contract that will serve as the gold standard for the entire EV industry. We’ve been clear all along: the cars of the future will be made in Ohio, by union workers, and we’ll settle for nothing less,” said Brown.