EV battery plants emerge as wild card issue in UAW contract talks

The plants could have wide-ranging implications for the UAW, automakers, and President Joe Biden's push toward domestic manufacturing.

EV battery plants emerge as wild card issue in UAW contract talks

There's still a problem. Before the deadline of Sept. 14. UAW leadership, however, has prioritized a "just" transition to EVs that is fair to auto workers. This includes the battery plants. Shawn Fain, UAW president, said that the battery plants were a "shell game" last week. UAW President Shawn Fain speaks with union member Jerome Buckley (right) outside General Motors Factory Zero plant in Detroit on July 12, 2023.

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, speaks at the General Motors Factory Zero electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit on November 17, 2021.

Last week, the UAW released a document detailing safety concerns and issues at the Ultium Plant. Kinethia black, UAW Local 5960, fills brakes on a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV at General Motors Orion Assembly Plant, Orion Township in Michigan, during production.

The union could also model its contract on the subsystem jobs. Ultium's spokeswoman condemned both the report and UAW's portrayal of the plant. She called the UAW’s description of safety concerns as "knowingly false and misinforming."