Automaker Ford has announced it is “pausing” the construction of a controversial electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Michigan.
The multi-billion dollar plant in Marshall has drawn scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers over the company’s partnership with Chinese Communist Party-linked battery-maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., or CATL.
The decision to halt construction comes amid the ongoing strikes from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.
“We’re pausing work, and we’re going to limit spending on construction at Marshall until we’re confident about our ability to competitively run the plant,” Ford spokesman T.R. Reid said in a statement.
“There are a number of considerations, all of which we’re evaluating in terms of our competitiveness.”
“We haven’t made a final decision about the investment there,” Reid added.
Reid also revealed that the pause on the $3.5 billion plant was effective immediately.
The statement did not mention the ongoing strikes from the UAW, however.
In response, the UAW issued a statement blasting Ford over the news.
“This is a shameful, barely-veiled threat by Ford to cut jobs,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement.
“Closing 65 plants over the last 20 years wasn’t enough for the Big Three, now they want to threaten