Workers with UAW signs.

Workers pose with UAW signs.

(Photo: UAW)

More Than 10K Workers Have Signed UAW Cards Since Big Three Wins

"These workers are standing up for themselves, for their families, and for their communities, and our union will have their back every step of the way," UAW president Shawn Fain said.

More than 10,000 U.S. autoworkers have recently signed union cards with the United Autoworkers Union, the UAW announced on Monday.

The news comes less than 90 days after UAW members ratified historic contracts with the Big Three automakers following their successful "Stand Up" strike.

"Our Stand Up movement has caught fire among America's autoworkers, far beyond the Big Three," UAW president Shawn Fain said in a statement. "These workers are standing up for themselves, for their families, and for their communities, and our union will have their back every step of the way."

"Seeing the contracts that they [were] able to get, it was just astounding."

When Fain announced the UAW's tentative deals with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, he said one of the union's major goals going forward would be to unionize more nonunion plants.

"When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won't just be with the Big Three. It will be the Big Five or Big Six," Fain said at the time.

After ratifying the contacts, the UAW announced a plan to unionize 150,000 employees working for 13 non-union carmakers. Since then, workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama, have gone public with their union campaigns. At Volkswagen, 2,000 out of 5,500 workers have signed union cards, Local 3 News reported. Washington Post labor reporter Lauren Kaori Gurley said on social media that the Mercedes campaign was also nearing majority support.

The current tally of more than 10,000 cards are divided across all 13 target companies, the UAW said. Gurley predicted that the union would hold elections at Volkswagen and Toyota before the end of the year.

More Perfect Union spoke to workers involved in the organizing drive at the world's largest Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.

When the plant first opened in 1988, it provided high wages and good benefits, but compensation began to decline following the 2008 recession, despite the fact that Toyota's profits continued to rise. Employee Jeff Allen, who started working there nearly 30 years ago, said the job enabled him to buy a home and a new car early in his career. However, four-year employee Greg Williams said he could not afford to purchase a home and his fiance and two daughters had to rely on Medicaid for their healthcare.

"I totaled a car last week and I can't afford to replace it," Williams said.

Past union drives at Toyota have failed, but workers said they were newly energized by what the UAW won from the Big Three in 2023.

"Seeing the contracts that they [were] able to get, it was just astounding," Allen said. "And I'm like, you know, we could do that. We should do that."

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