Stellantis welcomes battery plant unionization

Stellantis

Stellantis will support unionization at future North American battery factories.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, said the carmaker has "zero problems with unions" during a virtual media roundtable at the Detroit Auto Show.

Stellantis will build a large battery factory in Kokomo, Indiana, where it operates three engine and transmission plants. It's building a battery plant in Windsor, Ontario, with LG Energy Solution.

Stellantis North America COO Mark Stewart said unionization depends on the plant workers. All our other facilities are unionized. We have a good relationship with the union, so if those end up being union, that's great. If not, that's their choice."

Auto News notes Stellantis' UAW issues. UAW vice president Cindy Estrada said last week that despite complaints about working conditions at the Kokomo Casting plant, GM was "investing billions in a new battery plant across the street." 

Tavares upset the union when he said U.S. absenteeism was worse than elsewhere.

Tavares said in Detroit, "We may disagree, have tough discussions." We have no problem with unions because you always need to talk to someone. We think they should contribute. They ask us to fix things that need fixing. They often ask us to rethink issues.