Majority of Mercedes workers at Alabama plant voice support to join UAW

Written by Ethan Bernard

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union said that over 50% of workers at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Vance, Ala., “have signed union cards in support of joining the UAW.”  

“A majority of our coworkers at Mercedes here in Alabama have signed our union cards and are ready to win our union and a better life with the UAW,” Mercedes worker Jeremy Kimbrell was quoted as saying in a press release on Tuesday.

UAW said the announcement marks the second plant to reach this “milestone” this month. Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tenn., reached “majority support in early February,” according to the release. The mark of over 30% at the Alabama Mercedes-Benz plant was reached in January.

“Over 10,000 non-union autoworkers across 14 auto companies have signed union cards and begun organizing to join the UAW in the wake of the historic Stand Up Strike victories at the Big Three,” the union said.

Responding to the vote, a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said “central to our success is our positive team culture that includes an open-door policy.” 

“Mercedes-Benz US International has a proven record of competitively compensating team members and providing many additional benefits. We believe open and direct communication with our team members is the best path forward to ensure continued success,” the spokesperson added.

As previously reported in December, UAW President Shawn Fain outlined the union’s strategy to unionize non-union auto workers in the US. According to this roadmap, with 50% of workers signing union cards, a rally is organized and will be attended by Fain.

“When 70% have signed cards … we will demand that your company recognize the union,” Fain said at the time, though the UAW has made no formal acknowledgment of how it will proceed now.

Ethan Bernard

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