UAW launches bid to unionize more US car manufacturers

The US automobile workers union United Auto Workers (UAW) is launching an offensive to unionize more major car manufacturers in the US. After winning ground against Ford, GM and Stellantis, the union is now taking aim for the rest of the industry in the USA.

Image: Ford

After its successful agreements with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, from whom the union had won major concessions through strikes, the UAW is now calling on the employees of 13 non-unionized car manufacturers in the USA to join.

The new companies to be unionized include Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Tesla, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Volkswagen, Mazda, Rivian, Lucid and Volvo. These car manufacturers employ almost 150,000 workers in their US assembly plants, about as many as Ford, GM and Stellantis combined, according to statements by the UAW union.

To gain new members, the union is appealing to the financial incentives: “To all the auto workers out there working without the benefits of a union, now it’s your turn,” said UAW President Shawn Fain, adding: “The money is there. The time is right. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay your rent or feed your family while the company makes billions. A better life is out there.”

Considering the ground recently gained against GM, Stellantis and Ford, which included a 25% increase in base wages through 2028, cutting the time needed to reach top pay to three years from eight, boosting the pay of temporary workers by 150% and making them permanent employees, the union may likely find success with more factory workers. #

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was typically uninterested in letting his workers unionize: “I disagree with the idea of unions.” He added that if Tesla is unionized, “it’ll be because we deserve it and we failed in some way.” Honda was similarly closed to the idea, likely noting the direction the US political wind is blowing lately: “We do not believe an outside party would enhance the excellent employment experience of our associates, nor would it improve upon the outstanding track record of success and employment stability Honda manufacturing associates in America have achieved,” the company wrote.

Politically, the UAW has received support from the highest office in the US, with President Joe Biden stating: “I want this type of contract for all auto workers and I have a feeling the UAW has a plan for that.”

reuters.com, uaw.org

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