UAW files petition to hold a new election at Mercedes plant

UAW files petition to hold a new election at Mercedes plant

Mercedes-AMG SL63

The United Automotive Workers (UAW) has filed a petition to hold a new election at a Mercedes-Benz factory in Alabama, after the company’s workers voted against joining the union last week.

In a union election held at the Mercedes factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, held last week, 56 percent of workers voted against UAW membership, though the union accused the automaker of union-busting tactics and signage encouraging employees to vote no. On Friday, the UAW officially filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a new election at the factory, citing a “relentless anti-union campaign,” according to a report from Automotive News.

The filing also alleges that Mercedes fired employees who were pro-union and held regular anti-union meetings.

“We sincerely hoped the UAW would respect our team members’ decision,” said a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson. “Throughout the election, we worked with the NLRB to adhere to its guidelines and we will continue to do so as we work through this process.”

In the recent election, 56 percent of the roughly 4,687 votes cast were against the Mercedes plant recognizing the UAW.

The election followed a similar union election at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where workers about 73 percent of employees voted in favor of joining the UAW last month. It also comes after the UAW launched union campaigns at Tesla, Toyota, Hyundai, Rivian, and nine others—including Volkswagen and Mercedes.

Last year, the UAW held six-week strikes against Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis, ultimately garnering record wage increases for employees in contract negotiations. After much speculation that the UAW would set its sights on Tesla, the union officially launched the updated campaigns in November.

At the time, UAW President Shawn Fain had also called workers at Tesla and Toyota “members of the future,” later saying that he hoped to see a “Big Five or Six” at the bargaining table in 2028, instead of just the Big Three.

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