General Motors and LG Chem announced plans for a $2.3 billion factory to build batteries for electric cars. The factory will be near the site of GM’s closed Lordstown assembly plant in Ohio.
The joint venture will employ 1,100 workers. During the recent contract talks with the United Auto Workers union during the GM strike, the automaker offered to have this plant be represented by the union. But GM CEO Mary Barra said Thursdsay whether or not workers are in the union will be up to the workers who are hired.
GM and LG already had a Michigan plant that built batteries for the discontinued Volt. It paid those workers about $15 to $17 an hour, roughly half of what veteran workers at GM’s US factories are paid.
Barra wouldn’t say what these new jobs will pay, but she did say, “You have to be competitive. But I think these will be good paying jobs.”
GM and other automakers are making a major push to develop electric vehicles, anticipating customer demand for them will grow. Electric vehicles could account for more half of US car sales within 20 to 25 years, according to a widely cited analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“I think this is a critical juncture to our path to develop an all-electric future,” Barra said Thursday.