“These courageous workers at Mercedes reached out to the UAW because they wanted justice. They led us. And they lead us. What happens next is up to them. 

Justice isn’t about one vote or one campaign. It’s about getting a voice, getting your fair share. And let’s be clear: workers won serious gains in this campaign. They raised their wages, with the “UAW bump.” They killed wage tiers. They got rid of a CEO who had no interest in improving conditions in the workplace. Mercedes is a better place to work thanks to this campaign, and thanks to these courageous workers.  

The company told the workers to give the new CEO a chance. That’s exactly what Volkswagen told its workers in 2019. And in 2024, Volkswagen workers realized it’s not about a CEO. It’s about a voice on the job, it’s about getting our lives back, and getting our time back. The only path to do that is through a union contract. 

Mercedes engaged in egregious illegal behavior. The federal government as well as the German government are currently investigating Mercedes for the intimidation and harassment they inflicted on their own workers. We intend to follow that process through. 

This is a David and Goliath fight. Sometimes Goliath wins a battle. But David wins the war.  

These workers will win their fair share. And we will be there every step of the way to support them. 

We’ve been here before. We know what we’re taking on. This company, like most corporations, operated off the same old playbook of fear, threats and intimidation. 

Our fight is also in the halls of the legislatures of this country. Sixty million Americans say they’d join a union if given the option. Polling here in Alabama and in Tennessee show people supported the UAW by a two to one margin. But with weak labor laws in place, sometimes the companies are able to turn those numbers around. 

The UAW will continue to lead the fight against corporate greed and runaway inequality. And through that fight we’ll change the nation and the world for the better. 

While this loss stings, these workers keep their heads held high. We fight the good fight and continue forward. 

And the workers here ultimately will win. Most of us have lost elections in our lives and I know I’ve always learned from it. What matters is what you do with that experience. 

We put everything we had in this fight, we left nothing on the table. I look at John Wooden’s definition of success: “Success is the peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you’re capable. Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” 

There are more than 2,000 workers at Mercedes in Alabama who want to join our union. They aren’t going away. The sun will rise, and the sun will set, and our fight for justice for the working class will continue. 

# # #

The German government is officially investigating Mercedes-Benz Group AG for the company’s illegal anti-union conduct at the Mercedez-Benz plant in Vance, Alabama. Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control announced the formal investigation yesterday. 

Voting is currently underway at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where a supermajority of workers have come out in support of the union and have been subjected to a brutal, months-long campaign of illegal intimidation by management and outside anti-union consultants hired by the company.  

“Autoworkers in Alabama should have the same rights and be treated with the same respect as autoworkers in Germany,” said Jeremy Kimbrell, who has worked at the plant since 1999. “My coworkers and I are grateful to the German government for taking our testimonies and the evidence we have provided seriously and taking the first steps to hold the lawless, reckless Mercedes managers in Alabama accountable for their action.” 

The UAW filed charges against Mercedes-Benz Group AG in early April for violating Germany’s new law on global supply chain practices. Mercedes-Benz’s aggressive anti-union campaign against U.S. autoworkers in Alabama is a clear human rights violation under the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains. Mercedes-Benz could face billions in penalties, including significant fines and bans on government contracts. 

The Alabama plant is operated by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI), a subsidiary of Stuttgart-based Mercedes-Benz Group AG. The UAW complaint details how MBUSI has intimidated, threatened and even fired Alabama workers in violation of U.S. labor law and International Labor Organization Conventions. The complaint documents seven violations of the German act, including:

  • The firing of a union supporter with Stage 4 cancer. The employee had been allowed to have his cellphone with him at work so he could receive updates on the availability of his scarce chemo drug. But a supervisor who has intimidated union supporters claimed there was a zero-tolerance policy on cellphones and had him fired.
  • A January letter from MBUSI CEO Michael Göbel to employees that attempted to chill union activity and violated their freedom of association. The letter was filled with stock phrases used by anti-union consultants designed to stoke fear, uncertainty, and division.
  • A mandatory plant-wide meeting Göbel held in February to discourage workers from unionizing. At this meeting, Göbel told workers “I don’t believe the UAW can help us to be better” and that they “shouldn’t have to pay union dues that generate millions of dollars per year for an organization where you have no transparency where that money is used.”
  • Another mandatory plant-wide meeting in February that featured former University of Alabama football Coach Nick Saban. Before and during the meeting, MBUSI supervisors attempted to stop union supporters from passing out UAW hats.

Despite the company’s anti-union campaign, a supermajority of MBUSI workers publicly support the union and workers are confident that they will win their union when ballots are tallied on Friday, May 17th. They will become the second Southern auto plant to vote to join the UAW in less than 30 days, and the second of dozens of non-union auto plants that are actively organizing across the country. 

Over 1,000 members of UAW Local 869 who work at the Stellantis Warren Stamping Plant in Warren, Mich., have voted to authorize a strike over the company’s refusal to address health & safety grievances at the facility.

In a new video, Stellantis workers at Local 869 speak out about health & safety issues in the plant.

“We must stand up and stand together for this health and safety grievance procedure because this is our livelihood,” said Local 869 member Chautay Smith. “So, let’s stand up at Warren Stamping and take care of us the way we need to be taken care of.”

Workers at the plant are facing a wide range of unresolved issues, including problems with ventilation fans, ergo matting, personal protective equipment (PPE), flooding, basement lighting & flooring, restrooms, oil leaks, overall sanitation, and more.

“Not only do we want these health and safety grievances resolved, we want our members to leave the same way they came,” UAW Local 869 President Romaine McKinney III said. “We want members to understand they’re not just a number or just a body on the line. They will come to work and feel like they have some ownership in that building.”

Warren Stamping supplies over half a dozen Stellantis plants, from Windsor, Ontario to Saltillo, Mexico, and any work stoppage could particularly impact production of the Dodge RAM, Jeep Wrangler, and Jeep Wagoneer.

Stellantis made nearly $20 billion in profits last year, and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares was compensated over $37 million in 2023.

UAW members at Daimler Truck turned out in record numbers to ratify their new historic common contract by 94.5%. The four-year agreement delivers major economic gains for 7,300 workers who build Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built Buses in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. The deal includes raises of more than 25%, and the introduction of profit-sharing and Cost-of-Living (COLA) for the first time at Daimler. The agreement will end the tiered wage system at Daimler, ensuring that workers who make trucks and workers who make buses get equal pay for equal work by the end of the contract.

“Daimler Truck workers just showed the world that Southern workers have the power to Stand Up and win big in heavy truck and beyond,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “Knowing that Daimler had made record profits year after year from their hard work, members used every tool – including the potent threat of a strike – to win. Daimler workers and UAW members are not only setting the standard but raising it. Workers are fed up and ready to fight for a better way of life, and the UAW is ready to go all-out in that fight.” 

“The membership at Daimler Truck was fired up and unified. That energy fueled the bargaining team’s push for a record contract – and they made great gains on the issues our members said were most important to them,” said Tim Smith, Region 8 Director. “Across Region 8, workers are standing up for justice and a better way of life. Whether they’re just forming their union, like the brave workers in Chattanooga and Tuscaloosa, or bargaining a new contract at Daimler, Southern workers continue to push for a voice and a fair deal in this economy.” 

Over the last 2 days, the UCLA Administration has condoned the brutal attack of students and workers as they peacefully protested for justice for Palestine. Rather than negotiating with protestors and de-escalating, UCLA Administration’s actions have caused dozens to seek medical attention and hospitalizations, a militarized police presence on campus and the arrest of more than 130 students & workers, including UAW 4811 members. As a former Teaching Assistant, Reader, and Tutor at UCLA, I am outraged by the Administration’s actions – using newly applied standards and force to discriminate against students & workers for their political viewpoints. 

UAW 4811 members have taken swift action to respond, working alongside thousands of other students and workers at UCLA to mobilize for free speech and safety on campus, and to demand justice for Palestine. Today, UAW 4811 members are preparing to file Unfair Labor Practice charges over UC’s actions, and are moving towards a strike authorization vote. This comes less than a week after UAW 872 members at University of Southern California also filed an Unfair Labor Practice over similar failures by the USC Administration.  

As Local 4811 members move towards a strike authorization vote, know that you have the full support of your Region 6 siblings across the West Coast, and your UAW siblings across the continent, as you stand up for your rights and give voice to those impacted by the war in Gaza.  

Our union has taken a clear stance calling for a permanent ceasefire and justice for Palestine. I am proud to work alongside my fellow IEB members and UAW members across the country to continue escalating the call for a ceasefire, and an end to the death, destruction, and human suffering in Palestine.   

UAW members across the country are prepared to do what it takes to win justice for working people across the world, and to secure a permanent ceasefire in Palestine. I am immensely proud of the actions members across Region 6 have been taking for months to fight for peace and justice in Gaza, and to demand action from their employers and elected officials alike. As Brother Shawn Fain said so well yesterday: if you can’t take the outcry, stop supporting this war.  

“The UAW will never support the mass arrest or intimidation of those exercising their right to protest, strike, or speak out against injustice. Our union has been calling for a ceasefire for six months. This war is wrong, and this response against students and academic workers, many of them UAW members, is wrong. We call on the powers that be to release the students and employees who have been arrested, and if you can’t take the outcry, stop supporting this war.”

Around 1,100 members of UAW Local 869 at Stellantis’ Warren Stamping Plant in Warren, Mich., will take a strike authorization vote on Monday, May 6th, after Stellantis’ failure to resolve health & safety grievances in the plant. On Monday, members will vote on whether to authorize strike action against Stellantis at the plant, over health & safety and outside contractor grievances that the company has failed to resolve. 

“We’re standing up for health & safety at Warren Stamping,” said UAW Local 869 President Romaine McKinney III. “When it rains, the facility floods because the ceiling is leaking. We have to fight for every single pair of work gloves, while we handle metal and materials to build world class vehicles for Stellantis. The list goes on, and we’re putting an end to it. Our union grievance procedure gives us the power to stand up for safety on the job, and we intend to take action if necessary.” 

Workers at the plant are facing a wide range of issues, including problems with ventilation fans, ergo matting, personal protective equipment (PPE), flooding, basement lighting & flooring, restrooms, oil leaks, overall sanitation, and more. 

Warren Stamping supplies over half a dozen Stellantis plants, from Windsor, Ontario to Saltillo, Mexico, and any work stoppage could particularly impact production of the Dodge RAM, Jeep Wrangler, and Jeep Wagoneer. 

Local 869 voted on April 2nd to authorize a strike over local contract issues, with Monday’s vote to address a strike authorization over grievance issues. 

Stellantis made nearly $20 billion in profits last year, and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares was given a 56% raise. 

The National Labor Relations Board has certified the results of the election in which Volkswagen Chattanooga employees voted for representation by the United Auto Workers. Volkswagen and union workers around the world have a long history of successfully building vehicles together, and we are jointly committed to a strong and successful future at Volkswagen Chattanooga with the UAW. We share many common goals: providing a positive working environment where employees are well compensated for their hard work building quality vehicles and share in the company’s success. Both sides are now focused on collective bargaining and entering negotiations in the spirit of working together to reach a fair agreement and build world-class automobiles together. 

In a new video, non-union autoworkers from the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala., share the staggering  compensation that Mercedes executives enjoy while workers struggle with the “Alabama Discount.” Workers in the video contrast the 80% pay raise Mercedes CEO Dimitris Psillakis got last year against the meager increases given to workers.  

The video can be accessed at this link, and the media is invited to use the footage. The transcript of the video, which features three Mercedes workers, reads as follows:  

“Let’s talk about fairness at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama.  

“In the plush offices of Mercedes executives, something outrageous is happening. Last year, Mercedes CEO saw his pay increase by a staggering 80%. Not stopping there. The entire Mercedes management board chose to give themselves a 78% pay increase last year. That’s over $27 million in raises for only eight people.  

“It would take a production worker at top pay two years to earn what a Mercedes executive earns in just one week. But what about the hardworking Mercedes employees right here in Alabama? This year, Mercedes announced they were giving us a meager 6% pay increase. That’s what we call the Alabama Discount, and we’re going to bring it to an end. It’s time for change at Mercedes. It’s time for justice in Alabama. It’s time for Mercedes workers to Stand Up.” 

The video dropped on the heels of Friday evening’s historic tentative agreement at Daimler Truck, where 7,000 UAW members in the South won a contract with record raises, the end of tiers and, for the first-time ever for Daimler workers, profit-sharing and cost-of-living adjustments.  

The Daimler contract victory is another major win for the UAW following last fall’s record contracts at the Big Three automakers after their 44-day Stand-Up Strike. More than 10,000 non-union autoworkers have signed UAW cards in recent months, with public campaigns launched at Mercedes, Volkswagen, Hyundai in Montgomery, Ala., and Toyota in Troy, Mo. Workers at over two dozen other facilities are also actively organizing.  

Last week, autoworkers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN, made history by overwhelmingly voting to join the UAW, the first auto plant in the South to unionize in decades.   

The 5,000 workers at Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Ala., will have their vote to join the UAW from May 13 to 17. For more information, visit uaw.org/join. 

The UAW has reached a historic tentative agreement with Daimler Truck ahead of the contract’s expiration at midnight on Friday, April 26, after mounting a massive campaign and strike threat against the multibillion-dollar manufacturer.  

The four-year agreement delivers major economic gains for 7,300 workers, including raises of more than 25%, the end of wage tiers, and the introduction profit-sharing and Cost-of-Living (COLA) for the first time since Daimler workers first organized with the UAW. The deal delivers on the union’s pledge that record profits mean record contracts. 

In a direct address to membership, UAW President Shawn Fain outlined the top lines of the deals, and reflected on the historic nature of the fight for justice at Daimler Truck. 

To view President Fain’s remarks in full, head to UAW’s Facebook page, and read Fain’s prepared remarks below. The media is invited to use these materials. 

Tomorrow, President Fain and UAW Daimler members will hold a victory rally at 12pm, at UAW Local 3520 in Statesville, NC. To attend, RSVP to [email protected]

— 

UAW President Shawn Fain Prepared Remarks on Daimler Truck Negotiations, April 26, 2024 

Good evening, UAW family!  

Tonight, I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I am honored to be joined by the badass bargaining committee representing over 7,000 members at Daimler Truck North America.  

We’re here tonight to announce a major victory for the members who build Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built buses.  

Today, we reached a tentative agreement with Daimler.  

What started thirty-two years ago this month at the Mt. Holly plant, when the courageous 17-day strikers stood up and won a historic, first of its kind agreement, has come full circle.   

For months, we said that record profits should mean a record contract. And, UAW family, our determination and solidarity has delivered.  

We said: It shouldn’t matter if you build a heavy truck or a bus for Daimler, you should get paid the same for the same work. And we won equal pay for equal work, ending wage tiers at Daimler.  

ALL Daimler workers will receive a MINIMUM of a 25% general wage increase over the next four years.

When this deal is ratified, you’ll get a 10% raise. Six months later, another 3%. Six months after that, another 3%. That’s a 16% raise in the first year of the deal, alone.   

But that’s just the starting point.  

Because we killed wage tiers at Daimler Truck, many members’ lives will change dramatically upon ratification.  

And by the end of this contract, workers who make trucks and workers who make buses will get equal pay for equal work. 

Our lowest paid workers at Thomas Built Bus will see raises of over $8 an hour. Some TBB skilled trades members will get an over $17 an hour raise. That’s an over 60% raise.  

We said we needed protection against inflation, so workers aren’t left behind. And we won COLA — cost-of-living for the first time in Daimler history.

We said the company doesn’t get to keep all the profits while the workers who build the product get crumbs. So we won profit-sharing for the first time in Daimler history, to get our share of that so-called “leftover money” from their “red hot” profits.  

We said the company shouldn’t be able to ship work overseas on a whim. And we won increased job security and increased the “build rates.” This guarantees a certain minimum number of vehicles will be built at each plant, so workers can know their work will be there tomorrow.  

And we won major improvements to health and safety at Daimler.  

All told, this deal is worth dramatically more than any past Daimler contract.  

So when we say record profits mean record contracts, we mean it.  

When we kicked off negotiations three weeks ago, we knew time was of the essence. We told the company: tick tock. Members were going to need to turn up the heat to get Daimler to move.  

 UAW family – you got LOUD.   

You held practice pickets, hundreds of members strong.  

You wrote your own slogans and songs — “mother trucker” was my favorite —  

I saw the Tick Tock signs, t-shirts, videos.  

All in service of one goal: making sure everyone knows that we are a united membership, ready to fight, and ready to win what we deserve.  

Tonight, it’s clear the company, and the world, heard your message:  

WE build the product.  

WE make the profits.  

WE deserve a deal that reflects our hard work.  

But you did more than just that.  

With this agreement, you said: a rising tide needs to lift every single boat. No one gets left behind.   

UAW Family, that is solidarity at its best. We win more when we stick together.    

They tried to stonewall us. But – we kept our eye on the clock. And when that deadline came closer, the company was suddenly ready to talk.  

 So tonight, we celebrate.   

Tomorrow we’ll join our UAW Daimler family at Local 3520 for a victory rally where we’ll lay out some of the details of what we won.  

And in the coming days and weeks we will hold local roll-out meetings so you can hear everything we won in this deal.  

As always, the members are the highest authority in our union, and the 7,000 UAW Daimler members will decide what happens next.  

And to the rest of our union, and workers across the South, stay ready to Stand Up and keep winning big.  

Thank you.