SMART Reaches Accord With Electric Bus Builder

July 25, 2016

SMART (Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers), one of America’s most dynamic and diverse unions representing 208,000 members,and BYD Coach and Bus, a division of BYD, the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer,are proud to announce the signing of a neutrality agreement that will form the framework of future efforts to organize BYD Coach and Bus employees at the company’s factory in the City of Lancaster. This agreement sets into motion the opportunity for BYD Coach and Bus employees to vote on becoming unionized.“We at SMART strongly feel that it is in the best interest of the workers to choose for themselves whether they want to organize, and we were pleased that BYD feels the same way,” said James White, SMART’s Director of Organizing. “All too often, companies fight even the idea of unionization. BYD has demonstrated to SMART its willingness to be a good-faith partner,dedicated to providing Californians with good working conditions and jobs with quality pay,benefits, and career advancement opportunities. 
“We want all of our Lancaster employees to feel that this is more than a job; that it’s a career, with long-term benefits, competitive wages, and real opportunities for growth,” said Stella Li,President of BYDSigning a neutrality agreement with our partner SMART demonstrates that BYD is committed to providing our workers with a great workplace environment and that we support their opportunity to choose if they want to unionize.”
Not only was SMART one of the first unions to manufacture and install solar panels,” White continuedbut SMART sheet metal workers have helped companies save energy costs on their facilities through our energy commissioning programs going as far back as the 1940s.  Now, with the development of efficient green energy technology, SMART and BYD are working
to actively bring manufacturing jobs back from overseas, to here in California. That’s something no one could have predicted 20 years ago.Li concluded, “Good jobs making a quality, environmentally friendly vehicle are part of the 21st Century American Dream, and we plan to be making electric vehicles here in California for along time. I look forward to continuing to work with SMART in the years ahead.”