Vote to determine if Mercedes workers in Alabama will join US union

The United Auto Workers union is facing another challenge in its efforts to organize auto plants in the southern United States. After successfully organizing a plant last month, the union is now turning its attention to Mercedes-Benz in Alabama.

Around 5,200 employees at the Mercedes auto manufacturing plant and battery complex located near Tuscaloosa, Alabama will have the opportunity to determine whether or not they want to join the United Auto Workers. This decision will be made through a federally-administered election, which is scheduled to take place from Monday to Friday.

In a significant development, the UAW achieved a groundbreaking victory on April 19 by securing a successful UAW drive at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. This momentous win marks the first time that the UAW has successfully organized a foreign-owned auto plant in a southern state.

Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI) has been more resistant to the UAW compared to VW, which remained neutral in its official communications about the election.

According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), workers supporting the union have lodged complaints against the company, accusing it of unjustly retaliating against employees involved in union activities, monitoring workers, and other related allegations. The NLRB, responsible for supervising the election, has reported these claims.

The UAW has lodged a complaint under a recent German law regarding global supply chain practices. They accuse the company of committing a “clear violation of human rights” by terminating a worker with cancer who supported the union and by compelling employees to attend meetings where plant leaders vehemently opposed unionization.

According to a company spokeswoman, MBUSI fully respects the choice of its team members regarding whether to unionize.

According to the spokesperson, MBUSI has been highly successful for over 25 years in Alabama by operating as a cohesive team. They emphasize the importance of open and direct communication with their team members as the key to continued success.

The UAW’s strike on Detroit automakers General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis last fall led to significant wage hikes and raised the profile of UAW President Shawn Fain. President Joe Biden even joined the autoworkers on the picket line, highlighting the importance of the event. Building on this momentum, the historic VW vote further emphasizes the UAW’s influence and its commitment to fighting for the rights of workers in the automotive industry.

According to Art Wheaton, director of Labor Studies at Cornell’s School of Industrial Relations, a victory for the UAW would serve as another boost of momentum for the organization.

According to Wheaton, a victory in this campaign would provide a significant boost to workers in other factories located in the South, including those at Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and other automakers.

Wheaton pointed out that a loss in Alabama might actually set the stage for future triumphs. He highlighted the example of the UAW’s previous unsuccessful attempts to unionize Volkswagen in Tennessee, which eventually led to their victory in the most recent election.

According to Wheaton, a defeat would serve as a valuable benchmark for the union, indicating their commitment for the long term.

Reference Article

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 7042

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *