Majority of workers at Mercedes-Benz plant sign up for UAW


A majority of workers at the largest Mercedes-Benz factory in the U.S. have signed up for the United Automotive Workers (UAW), as the union continues its drive across a number of non-unionized automakers with operations in the country.

Most workers have signed up for the union at the company’s Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, according to a statement from the UAW on Tuesday. The news comes as the UAW has continued to try organizing at facilities owned by Volkswagen, Toyota, Tesla and many others that have non-unionized U.S. manufacturing plants.

The campaign is pointing to workers going years without meaningful raises, a two-tier wage system, and alleged abuse of temporary workers as just some of the reasons behind the Mercedes union drive. In a video announcing the news, Mercedes worker Jeremy Kimbrell notes that most of the Alabama factory’s workers have now signed union cards, adding that now is the right time to attempt to unionize the facility.

“There comes a time when enough is enough,” said Kimbrell. “Now is that time. We know what the company, what the politicians, and what their multi-millionaire buddies will say. They’ll say now is not the right time. Or that this is not the right way. But here’s the thing. This is our decision. It’s our life. It’s our community. These are our families. It’s up to us.”

You can watch the UAW’s full video announcing the news below.

The Tuscaloosa Mercedes plant currently produces the GLE, GLE coupé and GLS model series, including the Mercedes-Maybach GLS, as well as the electric EQS and EQE models, according to its website. Mercedes also says the site was the first major production facility outside of Germany, calling it the “nucleus of the automotive industry in Alabama.”

Last year, the UAW successfully launched a historic, six-week strike against the “Big Three” automakers of Michigan, Ford, General Motors (GM) and Dodge-Chrysler parent company Stellantis, garnering record pay increases. Following the ratification of the new national contracts with all three automakers, the union officially launched union drives at several other automakers with U.S. facilities.

Earlier this month, a majority of workers also signed union cards at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after the UAW formally announced organizing campaigns at 13 automakers, including Tesla, Honda, Hyundai, Lucid, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Rivian, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Before even formally announcing union drives at the other automakers, UAW President Shawn Fain said he expected the union to head to the bargaining table with the “Big Five or Six” when contracts expire in 2028. He also called workers at companies like Tesla, Toyota and Honda “UAW members of the future.”

“It’s not the UAW and Ford against foreign automakers,” Fain said in October. “It’s autoworkers everywhere against corporate greed. If Ford wants to be the all-American auto company, they can pay all-American wages and benefits. Workers at Tesla, Toyota, Honda, and others are not the enemy—they’re the UAW members of the future.”

Ford and UAW reached a tentative local agreement at Kentucky plant

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Majority of workers at Mercedes-Benz plant sign up for UAW


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