UAW leaders say the union is ready for change as GM goes electric

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 11:03 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -

Union workers at General Motors could face major changes after the company announced on Thursday about its future to make the vast majority of its vehicles electric by the year 2035.

UAW chairman Eric Welter of 598 shared his excitement about the announcement with ABC 12.

Welter says the change to go fully electric was expected and that he and his team are ready to make whatever changes they need to produce vehicles.

“You know the UAW is just going to have to evolve with it and it’ll change the way we work and certainly change the membership. But, the exciting part is being on the forefront and what that could mean for increased sales and customers to the UAW. Means more jobs so you know, it could definitely evolve to a lot more plants building electric vehicles if the customers like the products they put out there.”

Welter says there is no word yet on how things will specifically change for its union workers.

However, he says that for the last five years General Motors has been making strides go carbon neutral meaning all vehicles and plants will be zero emissions.

“This industry is headed that way and has been, and it’s not going to stop. So, nothing is going to change the path that the industry is on not just General Motors so GM just embracing that and getting out in front of being a leader in it, and they can invent and evolve there’s no doubt about that,” added Welters.

Steve Dawes the UAW Region 1D Director says his main concern is projecting into the future and wondering what it will look like and what that will mean for the oil companies.

“I think the oil guys are going to have a little something different to say about that but far as going to electric vehicles. We will not know what that looks like and in 2035,” said Dawes.

“I can tell you, our members are ready. They’re willing, and they’ll accept change as we have in the past.”

Dawes says their goal is to keep as many jobs as they can and to take care of their members.

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