Mishawaka electric vehicle manufacturer facing labor complaint, stock plunge after leadership shakeup
Local electric vehicle manufacturer Electric Last Mile Solutions has run into some trouble after a leadership shakeup sent its stock plunging. And the company is also facing a federal labor complaint over hiring non-union workers.
Last summer, Electric Last Mile Solutions, or ELMS, purchased the old Hummer plant in Mishawaka. The company is manufacturing a series of small electric utility vans with a range of 150 miles — think what your cable technician or plumber might use.
The first vehicles rolled off of the line in September, but the company’s future now seems less certain.
On February 1, ELMS unexpectedly announced that its two co-founders — CEO James Taylor and chairman Jason Luo — had both resigned following an internal investigation that determined some executives, including Taylor and Luo, inappropriately purchased discounted shares in the company before it went public.
Because of that, ELMS said in a press release that the company’s past financial statements are inaccurate and will need to be re-issued. The board named Shauna McIntyre Interim CEO, but Taylor and Luo will remain as consultants.
Following the announcement, ELMS stock plunged 51 percent in one day — from $5.59 to $2.71 a share — and has yet to recover. And several securities fraud class-action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of investors.
In addition, the company is facing a federal labor complaint over hiring non-union production workers.
ELMS purchased the old Hummer plant from Chinese-owned SF Motors, which had been re-tooling it for electric vehicle production before pulling out in 2019.
And according to documents filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the local chapter of the United Auto Workers — UAW Local 5 — says that by purchasing the plant, ELMS agreed to assume the UAW’s collective bargaining agreement with SF Motors.
But the complaint alleges that ELMS has refused to recognize the union or bargain with it and refused to fill open jobs with furloughed union members, instead hiring employees off of the street.
The documents, which are now available online, were released following a Freedom of Information Act request by WNDU-TV.
As of Friday, ELMS stock was trading at $2.19 a share — about 61 percent less than it was before the announcement, and 84 percent less than its Dec. 24, 2020, high of $14 a share.
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