Collaboration Partners:

LG Energy Solution  |  General Motors

Ultium Cells Response to US Senator Brown's Letter Dated July 27, 2023

Date:                  August 2, 2023 

TO:                    The Honorable Sherrod Brown, United States Senate

Subject:            Ultium Cells Response to July 27, 2023 Letter

Senator Brown,

Ultium Cells is a battery cell supplier formed through forward thinking collaboration between LG Energy Solution (LGES) and General Motors (GM) that builds on a long-standing relationship focused on product innovation.  Our investors are leaders in their respective industries and have a mutual interest to meet the growing customer demand for electric vehicles through battery cell production in the United States. Ultium Cells in Ohio is a tier one supplier of battery cells to General Motors as it launches a full range of North American Electric Vehicles. Ultium Cells is leveraging the product and process technology that is the owned by LG Energy Solution and licensed for use under agreement from Korean Government – National Core Technology.

In early 2020, Ultium Cells broke ground in Ohio on one of the largest battery cells plants in the world that created more than 2,000 union trade jobs building the future of clean energy manufacturing. Today, we are proud to be a team of more than 1,700 making contributions to position the U.S. as a leader in clean energy manufacturing.

We have also found that the residents of Northeast Ohio are as excited about working at Ultium Cells as we are to be a part of the community. Our career opportunities have generated over 5,000 interested applicants, with more than 80% of our offers to join our team accepted. These Ohioans are eager to learn about the new technology and career opportunities available to grow with Ultium Cells. In fact, more than 20 percent of team members have been promoted after 6 months. Employees are also investing in their future through continued education with the company’s tuition reimbursement program up to $8,000 per year.  If you grow your knowledge in this emerging supply business, there are extraordinary opportunities for advancement and personal growth. 

The Ultium Cells Ohio workforce voted for the United Auto Workers (UAW) union to represent them, marking the first and only unionized battery cell manufacturing facility in the U.S.  We are excited about that and the opportunity it brings to establish a template for competitive agreements in the battery cell supply industry.  A flexible, forward thinking collective bargaining agreement will allow Ultium Cells to compete in this evolving industry and also can provide a model for the unionization of other U.S. battery cell manufacturing plants.  Since the site in Ohio was organized by the UAW in December 2022, we have been negotiating in good faith to raise initial wages.

We recognize the value of our workforce and want a labor contract that supports their needs and positions Ultium Cells to grow and be nimble enough to meet the needs to of today’s and tomorrow’s customers in this dynamic industry. Ultium Cells remains committed to providing a competitive total compensation package to all of our people. The UAW has stated that wages are the top issue in bargaining however, during our 6-month collective bargaining process, the UAW has not provided any wage proposals or counter proposals to Ultium Cells.  In an effort to accelerate our progress to a tentative agreement, Ultium Cells has provided a proposal for a fully comprehensive collective bargaining agreement, including substantial wages and benefits.  It is not correct to say that Ultium workers have not been offered more. We’re still at the table and look forward to working constructively with the UAW.

Very recently, the UAW has suggested that Ultium Cells-Ohio be “rolled into” the General Motors National Agreement.  Ultium Cells does not see a viable legal or practical path to place Ultium Cells-Ohio into the General Motors National Agreement. Ultium Cells is a separate legal entity and independent employer from GM or LGES.  We have communicated that position to the UAW and remain committed to bargaining a fair agreement that allows Ultium Cells, our employees and the UAW to succeed in the EV future.

When Ultium Cells succeeds, our people succeed, our communities succeed, and the union succeeds by bringing investment and new clean energy jobs to America.

Through our unified collaborations, we are proud of the growth we have made and continue to make as One Ultium Team on employee safety, producing high-quality products, continuous innovation, training and development.

Best Regards,

Alex Eom

Acting President

Back to News