The UAW has launched a campaign to unionize automakers like Toyota, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Hyundai, Lucid, and more.
Following a weeks-long strike that impacted Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) are attempting to unionize auto industry workers at non-union manufacturers, such as Tesla, Toyota, Hyundai, and Lucid. The labor union is targeting the workforce of 13 automakers who build cars in America.
We've known for some time that the UAW had intentions of unionizing Tesla and several other brands, with employees tempted by higher wages and better job security. "If you're an auto worker in this country, it's time to stand up. Everywhere you look in the industry, corporate profits are soaring, and workers' wages are falling behind," said UAW President Shaun Fain.
"We have shown the world that this industry is harming workers and consumers to the benefit of company executives and the rich. It's time that the working class did something about it," he added.
But it's not just Ford, GM, and Stellantis that need to be singled out, says Fain. It's happening across the industry, he says, at other US-based carmakers. He points out these companies' record profits in the last decade and notes that none of this has trickled down to auto workers.
Workers at these brands can now sign an electronic document expressing unionization support. This could lead to unionizing every US-based automaker, but this remains to be seen. According to CNBC, the UAW is not guaranteed to organize every automaker (or plant) participating in the campaign.
In anticipation of potential union activity, Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda announced wage hikes - just two weeks after the UAW reached a tentative agreement with GM. Toyota will raise wages by 9%, while Honda announced an 11% increase.
Hyundai workers in Georgia and Alabama will receive a 25% wage hike over the next four-year period. Hyundai's deal is similar to Ford's agreement with the UAW, although the Blue Oval offered an immediate 11% increase.
This hasn't stopped workers from wanting to unionize, though. According to the UAW, one of the "strongest campaigns" comes from Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky facility, which builds popular models like the Camry and RAV4. The Lexus ES luxury sedan is also built at this plant.
Tesla has previously escaped unionization, with reports suggesting the company fired workers for attempting to unionize. However, the automaker denied this. It will be interesting to see how many of the 13 brands become unionized in the coming years.
"You don't have to live paycheck to paycheck. 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. It starts with you," concluded Fain.