The first collective bargaining agreement in the U.S. electric bus industry was signed Thursday between BYD Coach & Bus and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Union Local 105.
The members of the union working at the BYD facility in Lancaster approved the three-year contract on Jan. 27. It includes competitive wage increases for each year of the agreement, benefits, expanded training opportunities to acquire and strengthen the skills necessary for a career in high-technology green manufacturing and stronger worker protections.
BYD Coach & Bus is part of BYD Motors Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Chinese electric vehicle and battery maker BYD Motors Ltd. BYD opened its Lancaster production facility in 2013 and employs more than 700 workers.
Macy Neshati, senior vice president at BYD, said the union contract was central to the company’s strategy of creating a sustainable, highly skilled workforce.
“Today’s agreement is a turning point in American clean-technology manufacturing, demonstrating that partnerships like this can drive progress for the economy, the environment and working families,” Neshati said in a statement.