UAW President Shawn Fain praises ‘major breakthrough’ with GM on EV battery plans

Shawn Fain

UAW President Shawn Fain Announces Major Breakthrough in EV Battery Worker Negotiations

In a live stream update on Friday, October 7, 2023, UAW President Shawn Fain announced a major breakthrough in negotiations with General Motors (GM) that will bring GM’s EV battery workers under UAW contracts.

“Moments before broadcast, we reached a major breakthrough that dramatically changes negotiations and the future of our industry,” Fain said. “GM has agreed to place electric battery manufacturing under UAW master bargaining agreement.”

Fain said that the UAW was ready to strike GM’s Arlington, Texas, plant Friday that he described as GM’s biggest moneymaker.

He said that threat brought a “transformative win.” “Today, under the threat of a major financial hit, they leapfrogged the pack in a major transition,” Fain said. “Our strike is working.”

Fain said GM has agreed to lay the foundation for a just transition for autoworkers to an EV auto industry.

Shawn Fain (2)

But he said that while there has been progress 22 days into the strike, the union is not there yet on reaching tentative agreements with the Detroit Three automakers ahead of a UAW solidarity rally set for Saturday in Chicago.

The UAW seeks record contracts for its members in an era of record-high U.S. automaker profits.

“This strike is about righting the wrongs of the past and winning justice for all of our members,” Fain said. “We are winning. We are making progress and we are headed in the right direction.”

 Shawn Fain’s announcement is a major victory for the UAW and its members. It means that EV battery workers will have the same rights and protections as other UAW workers, including access to healthcare, pensions, and other benefits.

The agreement is also a sign that GM is recognizing the importance of the UAW in the transition to electric vehicles. EV battery workers are essential to GM’s future success, and the company needs to ensure that they are well-compensated and have a voice in their workplace.

It is still too early to say when the UAW strike will end. However, Fain’s announcement is a positive step forward and suggests that the union is making progress in its negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers.

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