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At GM, manufacturing is our competitive advantage in building our all-electric future. That means the future of our business, as well as the future of mobility, rests largely in the hands of our represented employees. Their success and the growth of our business are inextricably linked.

As we transition to an all-electric future, collaboration with our union partners and support for our represented employees underscore the competitive and unmatched business advantage they bring to GM. This experienced and skilled workforce comprises more than 95,000 industrial problem-solvers on our manufacturing team, who, collectively, have 1.4 million years of experience. It is critical to bring this workforce along on our EV journey.

Since the beginning of 2021 (through March 2022), GM has announced the creation or retention of almost 7,000 jobs as part of our investment in America. Our commitment was clearly demonstrated in early 2022 when GM announced a $7 billion investment in four Michigan manufacturing sites, expected to create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 jobs. The investment includes a new battery cell plant, the conversion of an assembly plant to EV production and upgrades in production capabilities for two other assembly plants.

Equally as important as investments in facilities are investments in our workforce to ensure they possess the required skills to successfully launch our future EVs and AVs. As an example, the GM Automotive Manufacturing Electrical College is a new immersive training program providing participants the opportunity to train in both classroom and hands-on settings for a future role on a launch team at one of GM’s vehicle assembly facilities. We also restructured the Electrical Apprentice Program to include the latest technologies focusing more on Programmable Logic Controllers, robotics and vision systems. The goal is to equip participants with the technical skills needed to perform electrical-based job duties before they reach the floor of a manufacturing site.

Working Collaboratively With Union Partners

Healthy union relationships are built on effective communication. We engage with our union partners daily and provide opportunities for them to offer input into our processes. An ongoing priority is to ensure that our represented employees feel empowered as members of our global manufacturing and operations team and that their voices and ideas are heard on topics such as safety and quality improvement.

GM announced a $7B investment in four Michigan manufacturing sites, expected to create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 jobs

We also strive to understand and address represented workforce concerns to capitalize on opportunities for them. In 2019, GM ratified a new four-year labor agreement covering employees at 55 United Auto Workers (UAW)-represented sites across the United States. This agreement provides GM-represented workers with a world-class wage, benefit and profit-sharing package, rewarding their hard work and supporting families and communities across the United States. Importantly, the agreement also establishes a National Committee on Advanced Technology, made up of both union and management representatives. We have covered technologies such as additive manufacturing, autonomous robots and drones and unique operator interfaces in our most advanced assembly facilities. These opportunities have been implemented to upskill our workforce in the area of electrification. The committee meets at least quarterly to discuss the impact of electrification and other advanced technologies on our represented workforce. In addition, the agreement outlines collaborative initiatives to enhance the health and safety of manufacturing employees as well as other aspects of the production process.

We work continuously with our union partners around the world to address unique issues within their respective markets. During 2021 alone, examples included:

  • In the United States, renovating the former Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to reopen as Factory ZERO following a $2.2 billion investment to build a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs (Grand Opening was November 17, 2021).
  • In Korea, rebuilding GM factories to support the introduction of new models, which included visiting our plants in the United States and Mexico to better share learnings.
  • In Mexico, working on compliance issues around the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.

Supporting Represented Employees Through Business Challenges

The global pandemic and associated supply chain shortages during the past two years have been challenging for our operations. Throughout, GM has prioritized taking care of our represented employees by ensuring the health and safety of all who are on the job. In particular, we have had to creatively manage the complex and fluid global semiconductor shortage. This has called for inventive ways to sustain production and prioritization of our highest-demand, capacity-constrained products—all while developing sustainable, long-term supply chain solutions. Our responsible employment philosophy extends to when workers are displaced because of a plant production adjustment. During recent adjustments, we have supported workers through various measures, including on-the-job training programs and various types of paid leave and supplemental unemployment insurance.

As the pandemic extends into its third year, we continue to support all of our employees in innovative ways with initiatives ranging from mailing masks to employees’ homes for their families for holiday gatherings and holding vaccination clinics at many of our facilities for employees, to providing paid time off for certain quarantine situations.

Union Partnerships

GM works with about 28 unions globally, representing approximately 99% of our represented workforce, or 61% of our total global workforce, who are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

GM’s relationships with labor unions are healthy and stable partnerships aimed at optimizing the outcomes for both the employees and the business.

We manage our labor relations regionally, with a global focus. The labor relations responsibility is held by the global manufacturing leader, with partnerships that go to the highest level of the GM organization. Regular meetings are held with our union partners, starting with quarterly meetings between our CEO and UAW leadership. Regional vice presidents of manufacturing conduct face-to-face meetings with the unions when visiting the manufacturing sites; manufacturing directors meet with the local unions at plant sites regularly; and plant managers around the globe discuss business issues daily with local unions. These meetings provide critical input for making business decisions in a dynamic environment where schedules, economic swings and products are ever changing. GM leadership devotes time to work productively with our union partners and ensure they are updated on the business and pertinent issues.