Detroit News: Marick Masters on UAW push to represent Ohio battery plant workers


The United Auto Workers said it’s moving forward with attempts to unionize a joint-venture battery cell plant after pushback from Ultium Cells LLC, a company General Motors Co. and partner LG Energy Solution own. UAW-GM leadership attempted to establish a card-check agreement with Ultium Cells that would give the union access to the facility to collect cards as a way to organize the plant, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes told local leaders in a letter. Ultium Cells employees are not covered by the national GM/UAW contract. Rejecting the union’s ability to collect cards from employees to confirm union representation complicates the effort to unionize the plant. Another path would be a vote by employees to decide if they want union representation. The vote would be monitored by the National Labor Relations Board. “The bottom line is that if you go with the secret ballot election route, it’s more difficult for the union to win recognition,” said Marick Masters, a professor at Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business.  

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