'A transformative win': GM agrees to put EV battery plants under UAW national master agreement

General Motors agreed to put its electronic vehicle battery manufacturing plants under the UAW national master agreement Friday.

UAW President Shawn Fain called the progress "a transformative win" during an update.

"We've been told for months that this was impossible," he said.

Read more UAW strike coverage here.

Battery plants have been a contentious issue during bargaining. Last week, Ford's CEO Jim Farley alleged that the UAW was holding up a deal with the company over battery plants.

Fain says the automakers want to replace engine and transmission jobs with lower-paying jobs in battery plants.

"The plan was to draw down engine and transmission plants, and permanently replace them with low-wage battery jobs. We had a different plan," Fain said. "Our plan is winning at GM, and we expect it to win at Stellantis and Ford as well."

Fain said the union was planning to expand its strike to another GM plant before the automaker agreed to put the battery plants under the contract.

"We were about to shut down GM's biggest moneymaker in Arlington, Texas," he said. "We know their pain points, we know their moneymakers, and we know the plants they really don’t want to see struck."

As the strike entered week four, Fain did not call on any additional facilities to strike because the automakers had made sufficient progress at the bargaining table. Currently, UAW members at 43 Big Three facilities are on strike. 

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