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UAW contract with GM includes almost $2 billion in EV investments

Credit: GM

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union recently came to tentative contract agreements with the Big Three automakers of Michigan, and General Motors’s (GM’s) investment plans in the agreement reportedly include around $2 billion dedicated to electric vehicle (EV) parts and production.

According to a summary of GM’s agreement with the UAW, GM is set to invest nearly $2 billion into EV production plans at facilities in Michigan, Kansas and New York (via Automotive News). The investments include $1.25 billion set for the Lansing, Michigan Grand River assembly plant and $391 million for its Fairfax, Kansas assembly facility, both of which will produce EVs. The automaker will also invest $300 million into its Tonawanda, New York site for electric drive production.

The financials come as part of more than $11 billion planned for manufacturing investments, many of which are also expected to be related to EV production. The UAW has also said that around $40 billion will be invested by the three automakers during the contract’s term, which ends in April 2028.

“We were able to wrench back so much of what these companies have stolen from us over the past few decades,” UAW President Shawn Fain said during a Facebook livestream on Saturday. “We won back our dignity as auto workers.”

Over the next few weeks, the UAW will hold votes for workers to ratify the tentative contracts, and all three of the automakers are including $5,000 ratification bonuses and wage increases of 25 percent over the four-and-a-half-year period.

Other parts of the contract include the restoration of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) that bring the wage increases to around 33 percent, or over $42 per hour, according to the union. It will also increase the pay of temporary workers with over 90 days on the job by between 51 percent and 115 percent upon being ratified. Temporary workers will be able to become full-time and gain seniority status after working at covered locations for nine months.

Additionally, the agreement brings GM’s Ultium Cells joint venture plants under the contract’s coverage, and employees of the battery arm are expected to get hourly pay raises of at least $6 to $8 when the contract is ratified, according to the UAW.

Although GM refused to comment on the matter, CEO Mary Barra said that the automaker is “pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the UAW that reflects the contributions of the team while enabling us to continue to invest in our future and provide good jobs in the U.S.”

Over the course of the strikes, Fain implied UAW hopes to reach other automakers not covered by the contracts in the coming years, including Tesla, Toyota, Honda and others. Last month, Fain called workers at the other automakers “UAW members of the future,” highlighting hopes to expand the union’s reach.

Following the union reaching tentative agreements with Ford, GM and Stellantis, Fain also said that the union was looking to bargain with the “Big Five or Six” in 2028 when contracts ended, suggesting that Tesla would likely be amongst the organization’s next targets.

The unionization of Tesla has seen workers divided, and past labor efforts at the automaker’s Fremont, California factory have failed. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also invited the UAW to hold a union vote at its Fremont factory last March, though the union never followed up.

UAW could try to unionize Tesla and other automakers next

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UAW contract with GM includes almost $2 billion in EV investments
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