GM's CEO Fritz Henderson welcomes organized labor to the Volt battery pack plant in Browntown Township, despite the costs that are typically associated with employing UAW workers.
GM strives to build the Volt and price it as inexpensive as possible, but Henderson believes that goal can be achieved with or without unionization at the facility. As Henderson said, "The hourly employees have not been hired. They will be hired and they have to decide if they want the union to represent them. If they do, we're confident we'll be fully competitive here."
When Henderson spoke at the official opening of this new plant, no UAW representatives were on hand. They were invited to this grand opening, but were a no show.
In Henderson's speech, he seemed to entirely welcome the UAW by stating, "We have a series of agreements with the UAW in components manufacturing, whether it our second tier or some of the other innovative things we've done with the UAW in component manufacturing, which is why I'm 100% we'll be competitive here. This is a General Motors facility, it's a General Motors subsidiary, and if the people choose to be represented by the UAW we welcome that."
The new battery pack plant in Brownstown Township will employ approximately 100 people when the facility goes into action in the second quarter of 2010. This new facility cost GM nearly $43 million to build and is wholly owned by the company. It will be staffed by new hires under the lower pay rate or "second tier" rate established by the company two years ago which pays new hires about half the rate of established line workers.
Source: Wards Auto (login required), GM-Volt.com