Ford Motor Co. said Monday that it's pausing construction of a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan until it is confident it can run the factory competitively.
The move comes as the company is in the midst of national contract talks with the United Auto Workers union, which wants to represent workers at battery factories and win them top wages.
In February, Ford announced plans to build the plant in Marshall, Michigan, employing about 2,500 workers to make lower-cost batteries for a variety of new and existing vehicles. Marshall is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Detroit and is near two major interstate highways.
But Ford spokesman TR Reid confirmed Monday that plant construction has been paused and spending has been limited on it.
"There are a number of considerations," he said in an email. "We haven't made any final decision about the planned investment there."
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