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UAW organizing down South is picking up speed

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Adam Allington

Workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. recently filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a vote to join the UAW. Along with VW, workers at Mercedes-Benz's Tuscaloosa assembly plant are also expected to file their own petition with the NLRB in the coming days.

Arthur Wheaton

Director of Labor Studies, ILR School

Art Wheaton serves as director of labor studies at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Wheaton says:

“UAW organizing down south is picking up speed. An election for the VW plant in Chattanooga is fast approaching. UAW has also gained a majority of union cards in Vance, Alabama for Mercedes-Benz workers.

“Another strategy to place pressure on the German-based automakers was an anti-union charge by the UAW in the German courts. If found guilty, Mercedes could face billions of dollars in fines.

“There has been more momentum for the UAW in the past year than for the last 10 years.

The big gains made in the Detroit Three contracts and the 75-80% positive views of the UAW in the strikes has elevated Shawn Fain to one of the most important union leaders in the country.”

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