Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on unionizing new EV battery plants
The UAW is prepared to battle General Motors at two new battery cell factories if the automaker won't allow a simplified process to organize workers there. At issue in the new plants, which are under construction and are joint-ventures that aren’t automatically UAW represented, is a process that would allow workers to check a box on cards to allow them to organize, versus a drawn-out, traditional vote process. The outcome of organizing the plants will carry far-reaching consequences for future electric vehicle workers, a point fueling the UAW's sense of urgency for this upcoming battle. The union leadership knows organizing these two plants is "a critical event for the UAW and they know the importance of it," said Marick Masters, professor of business at Wayne State University. Industry experts say it is inevitable that there will be more future EV battery cell plants across the auto industry, so the unionization at these two GM plants could be precedent-setting for workers down the road. It is critical the union's local leaders prepare an organizing campaign as soon as possible, Masters said.