DETROIT — On Wednesday, the UAW International Executive Board voted to establish a new solidarity project to support autoworkers in Mexico fighting for economic justice and improved working conditions.  
 
The project will provide resources to Mexican workers and independent unions in Mexico, and aims to strengthen cross-border solidarity between U.S. and Mexican workers.  

For decades, corporations have taken advantage of inadequate trade laws to offshore thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico where worker wages and conditions have long been suppressed. Corporations use the threat of offshoring jobs as a cudgel to beat back worker discontent and organizing efforts in the U.S.  

Mexican autoworker wages have fallen dramatically since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. Under NAFTA, Mexico’s automotive workforce has grown seven-fold, while wages, benefits, and working conditions continue to fall behind.

The announcement of the UAW’s Mexico solidarity effort comes during a pivotal moment for the UAW, as over 10,000 non-union autoworkers have signed union cards in an effort to join the UAW. On Tuesday, the UAW announced it was committing $40 million through 2026 in new organizing funds to support non-union autoworkers and battery workers who are organizing across the U.S. 

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers is committing $40 million through 2026 in new organizing funds to support non-union autoworkers and battery workers who are organizing across the country, and particularly in the South. 

The UAW International Executive Board voted Tuesday to commit the funds in response to an explosion in organizing activity among non-union auto and battery workers, in order to meet the moment and grow the labor movement. 

In the next few years, the electric vehicle battery industry is slated to add tens of thousands of jobs across the country, and new standards are being set as the industry comes online. These jobs will supplement, and in some cases largely replace, existing powertrain jobs in the auto industry. Through a massive new organizing effort, workers will fight to maintain and raise the standard in the emerging battery industry. 

The major announcement comes on the heels of growing organizing momentum across the non-union auto sector, with workers at Volkswagen in Chattanooga announcing majority support for the union, and workers at Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama and at Mercedes in Vance, Alabama following closely on their heels. 

More than ten thousand autoworkers have already signed their union cards to join the UAW and fight for a better life at 14 non-union automakers from California to South Carolina. To learn more about that campaign, visit UAW.org/join. 

LOUISVILLE – After months of negotiations over local issues, UAW Local 862 has reached a tentative local agreement with Ford Motor Co., averting a potential strike this week. 

Workers at Ford’s most profitable plant were set to walk off the job over local issues related to skilled trades, health & safety, and ergonomics. The tentative deal addresses these and other core issues of concern to KTP autoworkers. 

There are dozens of remaining open local agreements across the Big Three automakers, while the national contracts were ratified this fall after the union’s Stand Up Strike secured record contracts. 

Louisville, KY – Nearly 9,000 UAW autoworkers at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant will strike on Friday, February 23rd if local contract issues are not resolved.  

After Ford Motor Company has failed to reach a local agreement with UAW Local 862 at Kentucky Truck Plant more than five months past the contract deadline, UAW Vice President Chuck Browning has requested authorization from UAW President Fain to set a strike deadline at Kentucky Truck Plant for 12:01 a.m., Friday, February 23rd.  

The core issues in Kentucky Truck Plant’s local negotiations are health and safety in the plant, including minimum in-plant nurse staffing levels and ergonomic issues, as well as Ford’s continued attempts to erode the skilled trades at Kentucky Truck Plant. 

Ford autoworkers at Kentucky Truck, along with 150,000 autoworkers at GM, Ford, and Stellantis, won historic raises and contract improvements in national negotiations last year. UAW members at Kentucky Truck played a leading role in the Stand Up Strike that secured those victories.  

In addition to the UAW’s national contracts, UAW members negotiate local agreements around plant-specific issues at each facility. Along with Kentucky Truck Plant, there are 19 other open local agreements across Ford, along with several open local agreements at GM and Stellantis. 

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If you’re a new member of the UAW, the New Member issue of Solidarity magazine will help give you a better understanding of how our organization functions on a day-to-day basis. It’s a valuable resource for any member interested in increasing their knowledge of our union.

You can download it here, and share it with fellow UAW members.

In this issue:

  • Welcome to the UAW: President Shawn Fain welcomes new members to our union and explains why having a collective voice with coworkers at the workplace is just as important today than ever before.
  • Our Members are the Highest Authority: Find out how the UAW is structured and how our members are the ultimate authority in shaping the policies and direction of our union.
  • Membership Dues: Learn how your monthly membership dues are allocated in order to keep the UAW strong and ready to take on corporate greed.
  • The UAW and Politics: Learn the many ways our union fights for worker and civil rights, in our communities and in the legislative halls.
  • Your Rights are Protected: The Public Review Board and Ethics Hotline are just two of the ways your rights as a UAW member are safeguarded.
  • UAW Bargaining Highlights: Through the years, the UAW has led the way in securing historic economic gains for the working class.
  • And more!

For more than 45 years, the Family Education Center has been a place where UAW members and their families come together for an experience that combines education with recreation.

It’s a place to learn about our union, unlock ideas, and build new friendships with other UAW families. This one-week summer experience, held from July 21-26 at the Education Center, will leave you and your family filled with a spirit guaranteed to strengthen your understanding and appreciation of our union.

Since 1970, thousands of UAW members and their families have participated in the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center Scholarship Program (Family Scholarship or Family Scholarship Program) – changing their lives and those of their loved ones forever.

Located in scenic Onaway, Michigan, on Black Lake, the Family Education Center was envisioned by legendary UAW President Walter Reuther to be a place where UAW members and their families could come together to learn and have fun.

Through educational and recreational activities, the Family Scholarship Program allows adults and children to learn and think about how our union empowers us to change our workplaces and communities for ourselves and future generations.

These lessons are learned through daily adult and children’s programs and family activities.

Applications must be completed and submitted by June 27, 2024.

WHO: All active or laid-off members in good standing
WHERE: Walter and May Reuther UAW Family Education Center
Onaway, Michigan
WHEN: July 21-26, 2024

Chattanooga, Tenn. – A majority of workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant have signed cards to join the UAW, less than sixty days after the workers announced their campaign to form a union at the German automaker’s only US assembly plant.

The milestone marks the first non-union auto plant to publicly announce majority support among the dozens of auto plants where workers have begun organizing in recent months. The grassroots effort sprang up in the wake of the record victories for Big Three autoworkers in the UAW’s historic Stand Up Strike win.

“The excitement has been building, and now that we have reached 50%, it is just continuing to grow. New organizers are joining each day spreading our effort to every area of the plant,” said Zach Costello, a Volkswagen worker and trainer in the plant’s Proficiency Room. “Just because we are in the South, it does not mean that our work is worth less, that our benefits should be diminished, or that we don’t have rights. All workers should have a voice, and I hope the success that we’re having here is showing workers across the country what is possible.”

“We realized that the working conditions could be a lot better,” said Victor Vaughn, a logistics team member at Volkswagen. “And the employees, we don’t have a say in any of the decisions that are going on within the plant. We’re not being recognized as a major resource for the company. We have a very important job, to put a vehicle on the road that our families are buying, that our kids are riding in. We take pride in what we do, but we don’t have a voice in how we operate. That’s why we’re taking the lead.”

The Chattanooga plant employs over 4,000 autoworkers, a clear majority of whom have signed cards to join the UAW. Workers at Mercedes in Vance, Alabama, and at Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama have also announced public campaigns to join the UAW, with dozens of other plants actively organizing. For more information on the campaigns, visit UAW.org/join.

Howell, MI — On January 30, nearly 400 workers at Antolin Interiors USA in Howell, Michigan, voted overwhelmingly to join UAW Local 163, Region 1A. The workers, who make instrument panels and door panels for Ford, GM, Stellantis, and PACCAR, launched their organizing drive last October after years of disrespect and unacceptable working conditions.  

 Antolin workers voted to join the UAW “to stand united and have a voice against management as a whole,” said Jarrod Yost, a shipping and receiving worker at Antolin. “To be on common ground, to work together rather than against each other, and to gain more respect.” 

“Our organizing efforts at Antolin Howell have been successful. Our members chose to organize after many losses to the company,” said James Matheny, a Materials worker. “We lose eight hours per week of our weekly total if we have a day off or even a holiday. Favoritism is rampant and policy is manipulated. We are now Union Brothers & Sisters. We can fight for a fair contract and work with the company, so we all succeed!” 

“We’ve been dancing with the devil for way too long,” said Lanita Wilson, a production worker at Antolin Interiors. “UAW, we needed you now and now we have you! A contract in place will help us have a piece of mind that they can’t just change the rules at their whim.” 

“Workers at Antolin in Howell, Michigan expressed a desire for change in their workplace,” said UAW Local 163 President Al Byrd. “They called on UAW Local 163 for assistance. With Local 163’s help and Antolin’s hard work, Antolin won an election to get that change. UAW Local 163 is proud to welcome workers of Antolin Howell as new UAW members with recognition from the NLRB.” 

“Region 1A is proud to welcome the workers of Antolin to the UAW,” said UAW Region 1A Director Laura Dickerson. “I am so proud of them for choosing to ‘Stand Up’ against the company and join our union.” 

The victory at Antolin Interiors is the latest organizing success story for the UAW, as workers across the country continue to take on the boss and win union recognition and dignity at their workplaces.