Montgomery, Ala. — Workers at Hyundai’s sole US plant, in Montgomery, Alabama, have announced a major milestone in their campaign to join the UAW, with over 30 percent of autoworkers at the plant having signed union cards.

In a new video, “Montgomery Can’t Wait,” Hyundai workers speak out on the ties between the union movement at the Korean automaker and the civil rights legacy of “Montgomery, the city where Rosa Parks sat down, and where thousands of Hyundai workers are ready to Stand Up.”

The video announcing the campaign can be accessed at uaw.org/hyundai and the media is invited to use the footage.

“I’m getting close to retirement and the company has literally broken me down,” said Drena Smith, a team member who has spent most of her 19 years at Hyundai in the paint shop and has had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders and carpal tunnel surgery in one hand. “We need compensation for that when we retire. Not just a cake and a car discount for a car we can’t afford to buy because we won’t have any income. We need a real retirement; we need to win our union.”

“My oldest son works at the plant, over on General Assembly (GA),” said Dewayne Naylor, who currently does Body Shop Quality Control. “I went through 14 years in GA, and I know what it’ll do to your body over there. I don’t want the younger generation to go through what we did. Over the last ten years, most of my raises have been just 12 or 13 cents an hour. The price of their cars, they go up every year. But my pay don’t. If we don’t get the union here, our pay will never keep up.”

“I was a temp at Hyundai from 2014 to 2017. I made $11.03 an hour the entire time,” said Ronald Terry, a team member on Final 3 and 5 in General Assembly. “They kept saying, just wait a little longer, you’ll make it to full time. I finally did, but the pay is still mediocre. With the union, we can bring our pay and benefits up to a higher standard. That’s how you motivate your workers. It’s not just good for us, it’s good for the product we produce.”

“When you’re injured, management pushes you back on the line too soon,” said Peggy Howard, who works on F1 Final in General Assembly. “I had surgery on my rotator cuff in September and I had to go back to work the last of December. I didn’t get the two weeks ramp up and now I’m having pains over again. I had a cortisone injection three weeks ago and I’m about to go back for another injection. If that doesn’t work, the doctor told me he’ll have to do the surgery over again. We need to make our jobs safer; we need the union.”

“Here’s when I knew we needed the union,” said Quichelle Liggins, a Quality Inspector at Hyundai. “My youngest son had a basketball game, and I scheduled a half day of vacation time. Someone was supposed to come to the line to relieve me, but no one came. Finally, I clocked out and I missed the first quarter of his game. They still wanted to write me up for job abandonment. I had to go in front of team relations, and I explained what happened, that I was legit in having this personal day. And my group leader stopped me and said this job is more important than your family. At that moment, I just froze. That was sickening. I knew things at Hyundai had gone too far.”

The announcement marks the third major breakthrough in the national movement of non-union autoworkers organizing to join the UAW in the wake of the historic Stand Up Strike victory at the Big Three auto companies. Over 10,000 non-union autoworkers have signed union cards in recent months, with public campaigns launched at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Mercedes in Vance, Alabama, while workers at over two dozen other facilities continue to organize.

Over 10,000 autoworkers across 13 non-union companies have signed union cards with the UAW, as momentum builds across the auto industry for better wages, benefits, and rights on the job. The major milestone comes less than 90 days after UAW members ratified record contracts at the Big Three. 

“Our Stand Up movement has caught fire among America’s autoworkers, far beyond the Big Three,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “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.” 

In the wake of the UAW’s historic Stand Up Strike victory at the Big Three automakers (Ford, GM, Stellantis), thousands of non-union autoworkers began organizing their own unions with the UAW across the entire non-union auto industry.  

In just two months, workers at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tenn., and at Mercedes in Vance, Ala., have gone public with their campaigns, nearing a majority of workers signed up at both plants. Workers at more than two dozen other facilities have begun organizing in the thousands, inspired by the Big Three victory and the non-union autoworkers’ public announcements. 

For more information on the non-union autoworkers’ organizing efforts at Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, Volvo, Tesla, Nissan, BMW, Subaru, Mazda, Rivian, Lucid, and Hyundai, visit UAW.org/join

The UAW kicked off its biannual National Cap Conference in Washington D.C. with hundreds of union members gathering at the Marriott Marquis Hotel to set the union’s upcoming political and legislative work. Tying into the spirit of last fall’s wildly successful Stand Up Strike at the Big Three automakers, the theme for this year’s conference is “Stand Up For Your Future,” with a focus on retirement security.

UAW President Shawn Fain was the keynote speaker for the day’s proceedings. He addressed an energetic crowd of delegates and received a standing ovation on numerous occasions during an impassioned speech presenting a vision of a member-led, powerful, reenergized UAW.

“We’re here to turn our union, our families, and our communities from quiet supporters of the cause of economic and social justice into an army of working-class warriors ready to stand up,” Fain said to those in attendance. “As the working class, we know we have the majority. But it must not be a silent majority. We know we have the power. But it must not be disorganized power. We know we are on the right side of history. But we can’t wait for the history books to vindicate us. We must act now.”

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock gave a powerful speech on reproductive justice. “The attack on women’s reproductive healthcare will be on every ballot across America in 2024,” Mock said. “We need the entire nation standing with women. We must lobby every politician that receives our CAP dollars and our votes to support legislation which provides choice for women. Everyone must join us in this unprecedented battle for reproductive freedom for women. If women are not truly free, no one else can be either.”

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock addresses delegates at the UAW National CAP Conference in Washington D.C.


Each of the UAW’s three Vice Presidents spoke on the issue of retirement security, discussing the need for post-retirement healthcare as an essential next battle for the UAW in the legislative halls and at the bargaining table.

“The fight for retirement security in this country is bigger than any one employer,” said Vice President Rich Boyer. “It’s bigger than any one industry. We have to have an aggressive plan to win – just like we did during the Stand Up Strike. We need a strategy that lifts up all workers and creates real standards in this country. We need to win real retirement security for all.”

“When these companies listen to Wall Street and say we can’t afford to care for the people who made us all this money, I say there’s something very wrong with that,” Vice President Mike Booth stated. “There’s something wrong with these corporations, there’s something wrong with congress, and there’s something wrong with our for-profit health care industry. These are not problems we can solve one worksite at a time or one industry at a time but solve them we must. The American people want real retirement security. We need real retirement security. And it’s about time that we fight like hell for real retirement security.”

UAW President Shawn Fain speaking with a CAP delegate during the day one conference dinner.


“We were incredibly effective during the Stand Up Strike because we were aggressive, united, and because we took the boss by surprise,” Vice President Chuck Browning told delegates. “It’s time that we used those same aggressive tactics and applied them to our political program. It’s time for us to take the boss fight to the next level. That’s how we win.”

Many delegates made the short trip to Capitol Hill to stop into congressional offices to lobby for workers’ rights on numerous issues.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking at the UAW National CAP Conference in Washington D.C.


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave a rousing keynotes speech during the day one conference dinner, speaking on the many challenges facing the working class and the importance of fighting for working people in 2024 and beyond.

“Amidst all of those challenges, there is some extraordinaire good news taking place,” Senator Sanders said. “We are currently seeing a major revitalization of the trade union movement in America. And, in that regard, I want to thank the UAW for all that you are doing, because you are helping to lead that revolution.

Sanders’ speech was followed by an interactive session where the Senator Sanders and delegates took turns asking and answering each other’s questions.

The National CAP Conference is the heart of the union’s political work. Delegates and leaders work together to shape the UAW’s political and legislative priorities moving forward.

CAP delegates listen to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during his keynote address.

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Local 1391 members in UAW Region 4 have been holding the line on strike at CVR Nitrogen in East Dubuque, IL, since October of last year, courageously standing up to protect their retirement security.

Workers walked out after the company refused to guarantee they will provide a match to workers’ 401(k) contributions during current contract negotiations.

In a new video released by the UAW, workers at CVR Nitrogen speak out about why they are willing to stay out on strike as long as it takes to secure their future.

“In our (previous) contract, it stated that the 401(k) could be changed at any time,” Dusty Glab says in the video. “And by change you would assume it would be maybe a percentage or so. But they took it away. They took the 401(k) match from us.”

“A year later, they reinstated it, and they claim they’re never going to do it again. So, we’re just asking for that to be put into writing.” Dustin Cady explains.

“That is the only retirement that we have,” Larry Flogel says. “We do not receive any type of pension plan or any other benefits whatsoever toward retirement.”

“I think it’s a David and Goliath fight because it’s corporate greed against the hardworking American man trying to make a living for his family,” Dean Beschen says. “(CVR) thought we were going to fold within a week (on strike). They’re hoping and they were telling the employees that were running the plant that it ain’t going to be long, that we’re going to fold.”

“I’m willing to stay out indefinitely, if that’s what it takes,” Cady says.

“This is bigger than 94 people on strike,” Local 1391 President Doug Glab says about the importance of standing up against the company’s greed.

“It’s more about a principle and a belief and, honestly, what we believe we deserve,” Dusty Glab adds.

The strike at CVR comes on the heels of UAW members winning record contracts at the Big Three automakers and Allison Transmission in Indianapolis, Indiana.

After mounting the first major strike threat of 2024, UAW Local 933 members at Allison Transmission in Indianapolis, IN, are speaking out about their historic tentative agreement. The deal includes an end to wage tiers resulting in up to 150% wage increases for many workers, as well as major improvements to health care, retirement, and cost-of-living.

Watch UAW Local 933 members speak out about the deal at Allison Transmission in a new video released by the UAW.

“Nothing like this has happened in Allison’s history,” Local 933 Shop Chairperson George Freeman III said about the agreement. “The best thing about this; we made no concessions.”

The union’s last contract with the company expired on November 14, 2023. Local 933 members resoundingly rejected the company’s previous offer on December 1, because it failed to address workers’ core demands.

Local leaders continued to prepare workers for a potential strike, and workers were ready to walk the picket line as long as it took to win an equitable contract.

“If there wasn’t the threat of a strike, we would’ve never have gotten what we got,” said Zachary Boyd.

“The company got worried and knew that this strike would have shut down several OEMs,” said Freeman.

If ratified by Local 933 members, the wage increases in the agreement will be a life changer for many of the workers at Allison Transmission, especially for new hires, some of whom will see a 150% wage increase.

“I stay in a studio downtown and I don’t even have a kitchen,” Monique Morrison said. “Something would happen with my car, and I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent. I have not been to the eye doctor or found a primary care physician because I can’t afford it. It’s been rough.”

“We could barely afford cost of living,” said Kendra Davis. “This definitely gives us hope. We will be able to provide for ourselves and also for our families and not feel like we’re not wanted.”

“With this new tentative agreement, honestly, the entire mood has changed,” James Somerville said. “This is a career. This is a job now.”

“I don’t have to get up early and pull a whole 14-hour shift just so I can make sure that I have enough money for my bills,” Reana Cotton said.

The tentative agreement at Allison comes on the heels of the UAW’s successful Stand Up Strike at the Big Three automakers last fall, and builds on the union’s new approach to collective bargaining has inspired workers to demand a better standard of living for themselves.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant outside Tuscaloosa, Ala., went public today with their campaign to join the UAW. Over 30% of the plant’s workforce have signed union authorization cards, a major milestone on their path to form a union with the UAW.

A video announcing the campaign can be accessed at uaw.org/mercedes-al and the media is invited to use the footage.

The launch at Mercedes in Alabama comes just one month after Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tenn., reached the 30% threshold and went public with their drive to join the UAW. It comes just six weeks after non-union autoworkers across the nation started organizing to join the UAW. For more information on that campaign, visit uaw.org/join.

“In the past, people didn’t know if we had a pathway forward here,” said Jeremy Kimbrell, a measurement machine operator who has worked at Mercedes since 1999. “Now everybody’s coming together and seeing what the pathway is, and it’s through the union. When we get our union in here, I think people will once again look at Mercedes and say, it’s not just another job, it’s a career job. It’s a job where generations will want to come and work. And that’ll spread out to the suppliers and then to the broader area.”

Mercedes made $156 billion in total profits over the last decade. In the last three years their profits grew 200% over the previous three years. From 2020 to 2023, the average price of Mercedes vehicles in the United States jumped 31% even as pay for Mercedes’ U.S. workers stagnated. Workers at the Tuscaloosa plant build the Mercedes GLE, GLE coupé and GLS model series as well as the all-electric EQS SUV and EQE.

In the latest episode of From the Archives, UAW Archivist Gavin Strassel – with some help from fellow archivist Mary Wallace – gives us a tour of the cold storage film fault at the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.

In the video, Strassel asks Wallace why the films are kept in a cold storage freezer. “Most of these films are cellulose acetate base,” she says. “At room temperature, they start to degrade, and we get that smell of vinegar, which is called vinegar’s syndrome. So, we have to keep them nice and cold so that they don’t degrade.”

Wallace estimates that there are over 1,000 films in storage at the library. Most of the films were made by the UAW, but there are some from the AFL-CIO, and others as well.

“There’s a ton of hidden gems in here,” Wallace says. “Just recently, we were able to digitize one film, and it was so appropriate for the recent UAW negotiations. It was Walter Reuther talking tough about the 1961 GM strike, and it was just so appropriate for what was going on. Those are the kinds of things that are hidden within these little film canisters…”

In this edition of From the Archives, Gavin Strassel shares some of the most rare and valuable items at the Walter P. Reuther Library: letters between Walter Reuther and some of the most significant and influential figures of the 20th century.

Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein are just some of the icons who corresponded with Reuther during his time at the helm of the UAW.

“It really shows just how vital the UAW was to politics, economics, and even the science community,” Strassel says in the video.