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New UAW unionising drive targets 13 carmakers

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023, 08:33 AM
Tan KW
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DETROIT: The United Auto Workers union is launching simultaneous, public organising campaigns at more than a dozen automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and Tesla Inc, an audacious effort to capitalise on recent contract victories and reverse labour’s decades-long decline in the sector.

The UAW is aiming to organise nearly 150,000 employees at 13 companies, which would double the number of autoworkers in the union. The targeted automakers include foreign firms such as BMW AG and Nissan Motor Co, as well as electric-vehicle makers like Rivian Automotive Inc and Lucid Group Inc.

The union is unveiling a website Wednesday where workers can sign union cards online and get in touch with organisers. The UAW has already signed up thousands of workers across the targeted companies, a spokesperson said.

“To all the autoworkers out there working without the benefits of a union: Now it’s your turn,” UAW president Shawn Fain says in a video on the site, which also includes statistics on targeted automakers’ rising profits, executive compensation and vehicle prices. “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.”

Buoyed by new leadership and strategy, the UAW mounted closely watched strikes this fall that secured historic concessions from Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co and Stellantis NV, including a restoration of cost-of-living allowances and 25% wage increase which together will bring their top pay rate up 33% by 2028.

Since those agreements were reached, non-union competitors including Toyota, Nissan and Honda Motor Co have announced they would hike pay for their own US workers.

 - Bloomberg

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