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UAW Launches Largest Organizing Drive in Trendy American Historical past

UAW Launches Largest Organizing Drive in Trendy American Historical past

2023-12-02 12:18:53

By Katie Nixdorf, Extra Excellent Union

The United Auto Employees (UAW) introduced Wednesday that it has launched into an unprecedented marketing campaign to arrange roughly 150,000 staff at 13 non-union automakers. Included within the marketing campaign are the German Three of Volkswagen, Mercedes, and BMW; the Japanese & Korean Six of Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, and Mazda; and American electrical automobile producers Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid. 

On a newly launched website, the union factors to skyrocketing income at these corporations and the pay hole between CEOs and staff. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $230 billion internet value and Mercedes’ $1.9 billion in inventory buybacks within the final eight months are cited as causes for staff to “Stand Up and combat for extra.” It echoes the technique used within the newest contract marketing campaign at Large Three, which resonated widely with workers, political leaders, and the general public.  

It’s been no secret that the UAW’s subsequent step after a historic victory on the Large Three was going to be a widespread organizing drive throughout the sector. “One in every of our greatest targets popping out of this historic contract victory is to arrange like we have by no means organized earlier than,” UAW President Shawn Fain mentioned in an October video after reaching an settlement with Ford. “After we return to the bargaining desk in 2028, it will not simply be with the Large Three, however with the Large 5 or Large Six.” 

United Auto Workers union President Shawn Fain joins UAW members on a strike in Wayne

UAW President Shawn Fain joins UAW members on strike on the Ford Meeting Plant in Wayne, Michigan in September. (Reuters/Rebecca Prepare dinner)

Since then, many non-union automakers—which have concentrated their U.S. manufacturing in right-to-work states, the place organizing is tougher—have supplied raises in keeping with what the UAW received for its members. Hyundai says it should give staff the same 25 percent raises UAW members will obtain over the following four-and-a-half years. Honda is matching the 11 percent raises UAW will get within the first yr of the brand new contract, whereas Nissan opted for 10 p.c raises and Toyota for 9 to 10 p.c. 

The UAW is betting that raises received’t be sufficient to dissuade an organizing drive, particularly one which spans your entire sector. 1000’s of staff have already signed union authorization playing cards, signaling they’d like to affix the union, in accordance with the UAW. 

“Since we started our Stand Up Strike, the response from autoworkers at non-union corporations has been overwhelming,” mentioned Fain in a new video concerning the organizing marketing campaign. “​​Employees throughout the nation, from the West to the Midwest and particularly within the South, are reaching out to affix our motion and to affix the UAW.”   

Organizing these crops might be no small process. The UAW suffered high-profile losses in 2014 and 2019 at Volkswagen in Tennessee and in 2017 at Nissan in Mississippi, persevering with the lengthy historical past of organized labor’s struggle to break through in the South

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However the tide could possibly be shifting. “We noticed what the UAW members received and it began us considering that we as staff are value much more than our firm presently values us at,” Isaac Meadows, a Volkswagen employee in Tennessee, mentioned in a press release launched by UAW. 

One of many first campaigns to go public could possibly be at Toyota’s Georgetown meeting advanced in Kentucky—now a right-to-work state, however one which has a long tradition of organized labor and a governor who vocally supported the UAW strike. Roughly 8,000 staff there make the corporate’s Camry, RAV 4, and Lexus ES. 

“We’ve misplaced a lot since I began right here, and the elevate received’t make up for that,” Jeff Allen, a employee on the plant, mentioned in a press release launched by UAW. “A union contract is the one method to win what’s truthful.”

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