The United Auto Workers union has launched an audacious campaign to unionize workers at 13 non-union automakers across the United States.
This bold move, announced on Wednesday, aims to bring nearly 150,000 autoworkers from major companies including BMW BMWYY, Honda HMC, Hyundai HYMTF, Lucid LCID, Mazda MZDAY, Mercedes-Benz MBGYY, Nissan NSANY, Rivian RIVN, Subaru FUJHY, Tesla TSLA, Toyota TM, Volkswagen VWAPY and Volvo under its wing.
The union’s plan involves workers signing electronic support cards for union efforts, a step that could pave the way for the unionization of U.S. factories belonging to these automotive manufacturers, CNBC reports.
The UAW clarified that organizing every plant or automaker participating in the campaign is not a certainty. A formal vote in favor of UAW representation would be required by the workers.
UAW President Shawn Fain, following the ratification of record contracts with General Motors GM, Ford Motor Co F and Stellantis NV STLA that included significant hourly pay raises and other benefits, has expressed the union’s ambition to expand its influence.
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Fain’s vision extends beyond the traditional “Big Three” Detroit automakers, aiming to encompass a broader range of companies by 2028. This expansion strategy marks a departure from the UAW’s conventional approach of focusing on one company at a time.
According to CNBC, the UAW’s membership has seen a dramatic decline, dropping from about 700,000 members in 2001 to 383,000 at the start of this year, a stark contrast to its peak of 1.5 million in 1979.
Despite this, the union’s recent success in securing favorable contracts with the Detroit automakers has prompted non-union companies like Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda to raise worker wages, a phenomenon Fain refers to as the “UAW bump.”
The UAW’s history with organizing non-Detroit automakers has been challenging. Efforts to unionize the plants of foreign-based automakers in the U.S., such as Volkswagen and Nissan, have previously fallen short. The union has also made attempts to organize Tesla’s Fremont plant in California, but with limited success.
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This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.