Union workers cry foul over safety at GM’s Ultium battery plant


Share post:

Negotiations between the UAW and automakers are more complex than usual. The union already has labor agreements with GM, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis, but those pacts don’t apply to their newer, electric-battery plants — like Ultium — because they’re usually joint ventures involving outside partners. The UAW had to organize Ultium from scratch and won the election last year.

The union also is learning about the EV industry as it forges deals. Battery-cell plants are more like chemical factories than conventional auto-production facilities, where injuries are more likely to be from machinery accidents or repetitive tasks.

A year ago, a contractor at the Ultium plant was crushed by an automated crane while working inside the plant, suffering serious injuries, according to Travis Eastham, the local fire-station chief. The worker was hospitalized for months and later died of his injuries, Eastham said in a phone interview.

At the time, the company confirmed a subcontractor was injured at the plant, but declined to discuss the incident further.

In a white paper, the union said Ultium worker Gavin Currey was sprayed with toxic gas in early May while working in an area that extracts a poisonous electrolyte compound from battery cells. Currey said in the paper he experienced minor burns to his face and a union official said he was unable to work for three days.

Another worker, Mandy McCoy, told the union she saw a colleague put toxic waste in a garbage can, emitting fumes that made her and a coworker nauseous. McCoy said her colleague was taken to the hospital.

The Ultium spokesperson declined to comment on any specific incidents or the findings of the white paper.

In all, the union said 22 workers suffered injuries and missed a total of 200 days of work. That equates to 2.2 injuries per hundred workers — twice the average for battery plants, according to Nellie Brown, Director of Workplace Health and Safety Programs at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

The Safest SUVs for 2023 and 2024

Honda's subcompact HR-V may lack much in the way of driving enthusiasm, but it is mighty safe....

VW Turns Up the Wick on ID.7 EV with 551-HP Performance Concept

This new concept car from Volkswagen shows what a sportier version of the ID.7 electric sedan could...

2024 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Overview Mercedes-Benz continues to trim back the Sprinter’s available build combinations, but the 29-year-old full-size van continues...

1985 Fiat Panda 4×4, Europe's Baby Off-Roader, up for Auction on Bring a Trailer

The boxily pragmatic little Fiat Panda arguably reflects the true modern Italy more than a Fiat 500...

Jann Mardenborough on Finding Secret Racing Lines in 'Gran Turismo'

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Gran Turismo movie.We expect a certain loose application of facts in moviemaking....

1972 Buick Riviera on Bring a Trailer Is One Bodacious Boattail

Far more charismatic than anything in Buick's current all-SUV lineup, this swaggering coupe hails from an age...

Best New Car Lease Deals for September 2023: Plug-In Hybrids

Picture Rodney Dangerfield in a plug-in hybrid (had the comic lived long enough to buy one), because...

1997 AM General Hummer: Full Metal Racket

From the June 1997 issue of Car and Driver.Don't look now, but the wood-and-leather-lined halls of luxury...