Tag Archive for: Region 8

“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. 

#

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.” 

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.  

VIRTUAL – On Friday, April 26 at 10pm ET, UAW President Shawn Fain, alongside the UAW Daimler Truck North America Bargaining Committee, will address Daimler workers and allies on Facebook Live just hours before the contract for the over 7,000 UAW workers expires at midnight.

Contract negotiations kicked off earlier this month, with the Daimler workers – who work in plants across North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia – demanding an agreement that reflects the record profits Daimler Truck has garnered and includes the long overdue fair wages and working conditions workers deserve.

The workers who build Freightliner trucks, Western Star trucks, and Thomas Built Buses are facing declining real wages and job security against a backdrop of rising cost of living and massive profits and shareholder payouts by Daimler Truck. Over the past six years, Daimler’s profits have increased by 90% while workers’ buying power has fallen 13%.

Tonight’s contract expiration comes just days after the UAW filed four separate unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Daimler Truck, citing violations of workers’ rights and federal labor laws amid ongoing contract negotiations.

Coming on the heels of the historic Stand Up Strike, and just one week after Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, TN, made history in the South voting to join the UAW, the Daimler workers’ fight is once again shining a light on the momentum of workers in the South and showing how this is not just about one worker or one industry. This fight is about all workers standing up and fighting for what they deserve.

Everywhere across the country, the story is the same: corporations, shareholders, and executives are lining their own pockets, while workers are going backwards. Daimler Truck workers have made it clear from day one – and from their resounding 96% strike authorization vote – they are united and ready to do what is necessary for their record contract.

WHAT: UAW President Shawn Fain & UAW Daimler Bargaining Committee to Announce Major Updates Ahead of Midnight Contract Expiration at Daimler Truck

WHO: 
UAW President Shawn Fain 
UAW Daimler Bargaining Committee
Daimler NC, TN, GA Workers
Allies

WHERE:  VIRTUAL UAW Facebook Live

WHEN: Friday, April 26 at 10pm ET

CHARLOTTE — On Tuesday, April 23, the UAW filed four separate unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Daimler Truck, citing violations of workers’ rights and federal labor laws amid ongoing contract negotiations. The agreement, covering more than 7,300 workers at plants in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, expires at midnight on Friday, April 26.

In response to these charges, UAW DTNA Council President Kenny Dellinger stated, “Daimler Truck thinks it can intimidate us by trampling on our rights. These unfair labor practice charges are a necessary step. It’s time for Daimler Truck to get serious about negotiating a record contract without violating the law.” 

The charges filed with the NLRB cite various violations by Daimler Truck, including but not limited to: 

  • Retaliation Against Union Activities: The UAW asserts that Daimler Truck has engaged in retaliatory actions against workers who have participated in union activities or expressed support for the union.
  • Interference with Workers’ Rights: The UAW claims that Daimler Truck has unlawfully interfered with workers’ rights to organize, bargain collectively, and engage in other concerted activities for mutual aid and protection.
  • Discrimination Against Union Members: The charges cite discriminatory treatment against workers based on their union membership or activities.
  • Failure to Bargain in Good Faith: The UAW contends that Daimler Truck has failed to bargain in good faith with the union regarding wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Daimler Truck workers are demanding an agreement that reflects the record profits the company has garnered and includes the long overdue fair wages and working conditions workers deserve.  

The workers who build Freightliner trucks, Western Star trucks, and Thomas Built Buses are facing declining real wages and job security even as Daimler Truck tallies record profits and makes massive payouts to shareholders. Over the past six years, Daimler’s profits have increased by 90% while workers’ buying power has fallen 13%.  

On the heels of the UAW’s historic Stand Up Strike and record contracts with the Big Three automakers, and as tens of thousands of workers across the country continue organizing to join the UAW, Daimler workers are standing up for equal pay for equal work, cost of living adjustments (COLA), job security and a better future for the working class. 

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. — In a historic victory, an overwhelming majority of Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have voted to join the UAW. While votes continue to be tallied, the outcome is clear: Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga are the first Southern autoworkers outside of the Big Three to win their union. 

Press can see the results of the election tonight at uaw.org/vwvote.

“This election is big,” said Kelcey Smith, a worker in the paint department at Volkswagen. “People in high places told us good things can’t happen here in Chattanooga. They told us this isn’t the time to stand up, this isn’t the place. But we did stand up and we won. This is the time; this is the place. Southern workers are ready to stand up and win a better life.”  

“We saw the big contract that UAW workers won at the Big Three and that got everybody talking,” said Zachary Costello, a trainer in VW’s proficiency room. “You see the pay, the benefits, the rights UAW members have on the job, and you see how that would change your life. That’s why we voted overwhelmingly for the union. Once people see the difference a union makes, there’s no way to stop them.”    

“This is a movement for every blue-collar worker in America,” said Doug Snyder, a body worker at Volkswagen. “Our vote shows that workers everywhere want a better life on and off the job. Fair pay is important, but so is time with our families. So is a voice for safety in our plant. We’re looking forward to getting to the bargaining table with the company and winning a contract that makes things right at Volkswagen.” 

5,000 workers at Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Ala., will have their vote to join the UAW on May 13 to 17. 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 Mercedes, Volkswagen, Hyundai in Montgomery, Ala., and Toyota in Troy, Mo. Workers at over two dozen other facilities are also actively organizing. For more information, visit uaw.org/join. 

DETROIT – The UAW just released “Leftover Money,” a new video detailing Daimler Truck’s record profits and their intentions to reward Wall Street, not the workers, with the spoils. It features testimony from workers reviewing the eyepopping profits and their demands to no longer play “second fiddle” when it comes to getting their fair share and raising standards.  

The video can be accessed at this link, and the media is invited to use the footage.  

The video digs down into statistics showing how UAW members have been left out in the cold as Daimler has funneled their record profits to CEOs and wealthy investors.  

In March, Daimler announced record results in 2023 and a robust outlook for 2024, including:  

  • Daimler made nearly $6 billion in 2023  
  • Profits increased 39% over 2022  
  • Over half of those profits were generated in North America  
  • The company plans to spend $2.1 billion on stock buybacks and intends to increase stock dividends by 46%  

After those announcements, Daimler’s stock jumped 18% in just one day. In interviews, Daimler CEO Martin Daum has bragged that:  

  • The company’s profits are “red hot”  
  • The “leftover money” belongs to the company’s stockholders  

Speaking direct to camera, the workers shared their message to the company: “We make the product. We make the profits. And it’s time to make things right. Our wages have fallen far behind. Our job security is on the chopping block. Our families and communities deserve better. And we’ve sacrificed long enough. We’re done playing second fiddle. It’s time for Daimler to invest in the American worker. The money is there. The cause is just. And the time is now.”  

The video launch comes just weeks after 7,000 Daimler Truck North America workers voted by 96% to authorize a strike if necessary. This overwhelming support shows the workers are determined to secure the record contract they’ve earned.  

Daimler Truck workers from six different local unions in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee have been holding practice pickets to demonstrate they won’t tolerate unfair labor practices like refusing to provide information, and that they are strike-ready. Practice pickets are not work stoppages; no entrances will be obstructed and workers will report to their shifts as usual. (Dates, times and locations of all practice pickets can be found here.)  

Bargaining with Daimler Truck management began on Tuesday, April 2, and the workers’ contract expires on April 26. The workers who build Freightliner trucks, Western Star trucks, and Thomas Built Buses are facing declining real wages and job security even as Daimler Truck tallies record profits and makes massive payouts to shareholders. Over the past six years, Daimler Truck’s profits have increased by 90% while workers’ buying power has fallen 13%.  

On the heels of the UAW’s historic Stand Up Strike and record contracts with the Big Three automakers, and as tens of thousands of workers across the country continue organizing to join the UAW, Daimler Truck workers are standing up in their fight for fair pay, cost of living adjustments (COLA), job security and a better future for working families.  

VANCE, Ala. – A supermajority of Mercedes-Benz workers have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a vote to join the UAW. The over 5,000 workers at the Mercedes plant outside Tuscaloosa, Ala., are the second group of Southern autoworkers to call for a union election in less than three weeks. Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tenn., filed for their election in mid-March and will have their vote to join the UAW April 17–19.  

new video announcing the election filing at Mercedes features the Alabama autoworkers at a recent rally with UAW President Shawn Fain. In the video, Mercedes workers speak out on why they’re voting yes to join the UAW. (The media is invited to use footage from the video.) 

In a statement today, Jeremy Kimbrell, a measurement machine operator at Mercedes, said, “We are standing up for every worker in Alabama. At Mercedes, at Hyundai and at hundreds of other companies, Alabama workers have made billions of dollars for executives and shareholders, but we haven’t gotten our fair share. We’re going to turn things around with this vote. We’re going to end the Alabama discount.” 

“We are voting for safer jobs at Mercedes,” said Moesha Chandler, an assembly team member at Mercedes. “I’m still young, but I’m already having serious problems with my shoulders and hands. When you’re still in your twenties and your body is breaking down, that’s not right. By winning our union, we’ll have the power to make the work safer and more sustainable.” 

Mercedes management is running an aggressive anti-union campaign, but that has not blunted the workers’ momentum. By late February, less than two months after Mercedes workers went public with their drive to join the UAW, a majority of them had signed union cards. The Mercedes workers hope to be voting in their union election by early May. The NLRB is expected to quickly set the date for the election.  

The UAW has filed federal labor charges against Mercedes for illegal union busting, as well as charges in a German court for labor violations that could net billions in penalties for the German automaker. 

“We’re going to make Mercedes better with this vote,” said Jacob Ryan, a KVP team member at Mercedes. “Right now, the company keeps losing good people because they force them to work Saturdays at the last second, to take shifts that mess with their family lives. And the only choice people have is to take it or quit. With the union, we’ll have a voice for fair schedules that keep workers at Mercedes.” 

The Mercedes workers are part of 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 Mercedes, Volkswagen, Hyundai in Montgomery, Ala., and Toyota in Troy, Mo. Workers at over two dozen other facilities are also actively organizing. For more information, visit uaw.org/join.