EV facilities show UAW deal enthusiasm
Detroit Three plants that are or will be electrified back strike-ending deal
GM and Stellantis’ dedicated EV factories are showing some of the highest rates of enthusiasm for the legacy automakers’ deals with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. Their positivity is evidence that the transition to making EVs is in fact not a bone of contention with UAW workers, despite commentators on the US right trying to paint the union’s stance as anti-EV.
According to a UAW facility-by-facility vote tracker, GM’s Ultium battery plant in Ohio is overwhelmingly in favour of the deal. The plant is 96.2pc in favour of ratification, the second largest margin of votes in favour of ratification across all of GM’s facilities.
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Ahead of striking the final deal, GM agreed with the UAW in early October negotiations to include electric vehicle battery production work in the UAW’s national master agreement with the company, which may explain the particular appetite for the terms. But GM’s Factory Zero in Hamtramck, MI, which the firm describes as its first fully dedicated EV assembly plant, is also 55.5pc in favour of the deal.
Considering that 13 total GM plants currently show the ‘no’ vote in the lead, and one other is within a 2pc margin of swinging to ‘no’, both of these ‘yes’ votes show EV facilities clearly endorsing the UAW agreement.
It is a similar story at Detroit peer Stellantis’ dedicated EV facility in Kokomo, IN, where the ‘yes’ vote leads with 75.6pc. And the automaker’s Belvidere, IL, assembly plant, which as part of the UAW’s deal with Stellantis will reopen a battery assembly factory, sees ‘yes’ attracting 82.6pc of the vote.
In early September former Republican president — and front runner to secure the party’s 2024 presidential election nomination — Donald Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform that the UAW should not allow “all electric cars” on the grounds that “they will all be made in China and the auto industry in America will cease to exist”. But attempts on the US Right to try to make unlikely common cause with the UAW strikers in some sort of anti-EV coalition appear to have completely failed.
All three of the deals which the union negotiated with GM, Ford, and Stellantis two weeks ago, are on track to be ratified, although the UW has not formally confirmed in any of the cases. According to the UAW’s live vote tracker, votes in favour of ratifying the deal with GM lead by a margin of 55pc to 45pc voting ‘no’. Ford UAW members are currently voting 69pc in favour, while Stellantis staff are 70pc in favour.