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Toyota

UAW Begins Largest Union Campaign in Modern History

Auto Workers Direct Momentum Toward Organizing Plants Across the U.S.

By Luis Feliz Leon - Labor Notes, November 30, 2023

“The company knows that Toyota workers are watching,” said Auto Workers President Shawn Fain on November 3. “And when the time comes, Toyota workers and all non-union auto workers are going to be ready to stand up.”

That time has come—yesterday the UAW announced its plan, already in motion, to organize the whole auto sector. “Workers across the country, from the West to the Midwest and especially in the South, are reaching out to join our movement and to join the UAW,” said Fain in a new video.

The union says thousands of workers have reached out asking for support in unionizing their auto plants. They’ve scoured the old websites from previous union drives and filled out forms to be put in touch with an organizer.

“To all the auto workers out there working without the benefits of a union: Now it’s your turn,” he said, inviting auto workers to join the organizing push and telling them where they can electronically sign union cards, at UAW.org/join.

Thousands of non-union auto workers are already organizing across the 10 foreign-owned transplants, including Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes, as well as in the electric vehicle sector at Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid. Overall, the organizing drive will cover 150,000 workers—roughly the same number of workers covered under the Big 3 contracts—across 13 automakers.

UAW Go Big Strategy Focuses On Non-Union Automakers, Including Tesla

By Steve Hanley - Clean Technica, November 30, 2023

The United Auto Workers just pulled off one of the most successful strikes in history. In a carefully coordinated campaign that targeted the most profitable factories at GM, Ford, and Stellantis simultaneously, the union won historic wage increases coupled with strong gains in job security and benefits.

Emboldened by its success, the UAW now seeks to add workers at Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, Subaru, Mazda, Lucid, Rivian, and Tesla. Especially Tesla. In a press statement, the UAW said on November 29, 2023 that autoworkers at more than a dozen non-union automakers have announced simultaneous campaigns across the country to join the UAW. Thousands of non-union autoworkers are signing cards at the new UAW web page, UAW.org/join, and are publicly organizing to join the UAW. The organizing drive will cover nearly 150,000 autoworkers across at least thirteen automakers.

UAW Launches Largest Union Organizing Drive in US History

By Julia Conley - Common Dreams, November 29, 2023

Days after unionized workers at the Big Three automakers voted to ratify their new contracts—secured after the United Auto Workers staged an innovative "stand up strike" that lasted six weeks—the union made clear on Wednesday it has no plans to stop its fight for economic justice for thousands of workers at car manufacturing plants across the United States.

Urging all autoworkers in the U.S. to "stand up," the UAW launched what pro-labor media organization More Perfect Unioncalled "the largest organizing drive in modern American history," aiming to bring 150,000 employees at 13 nonunion auto companies into the union.

The UAW announced its campaign with the launch of a new website detailing the skyrocketing profits and CEO pay at firms including Germany's Volkswagen and Mercedes; Japanese and Korean manufacturers Toyota, Hyundai, and Mazda; and U.S. electric car companies Tesla and Lucid.

At Toyota, for example, top executives have enjoyed a 125% increase in pay as profits have soared 30% in the last decade—but the company is firmly against unionization, offering a 9% raise to nonunion workers shortly after the UAW secured its new contracts, which include a 25% raise over the four-and-a-half year agreement.

Tesla, headed by the world's richest man, Elon Musk, has doubled its U.S. production since 2020, but the company also remains staunchly anti-union—and Mercedes' profits have grown by 200% in recent years, but this year the company "spent $1.9 billion on stock buybacks instead of sharing those record profits with their workforce," said the UAW.

In a video posted on the union's website, UAW president Shawn Fain urged workers at the 13 nonunion manufacturers to "stand up and win [their] fair share."

"We've shown the world that this industry is harming workers and consumers to the benefit of company executives and the rich—and it's time that the working class did something about it," said Fain. "To all the autoworkers out there working without the benefit of a union, now it's your turn."

AW President Shawn Fain on How the Auto Workers Won and What’s Next

By Steven Greenhouse and Shawn Fain - In These Times, November 8, 2023

When Shawn Fain won the presidency of the United Auto Workers last March as an insurgent candidate, promising to transform the union and take on Detroit’s automakers, he spoke with veteran labor journalist and Century Foundation senior fellow Steven Greenhouse for In These Times. Fain laid out a militant agenda.

“We need to run contract campaigns where we engage the membership and go after their demands,” he said. ​“We haven’t done this in my lifetime.”

Six months later, Fain led targeted strikes against Ford, GM and Stellantis that have secured tentative agreements that include a 25% wage increase — more than all the raises that auto workers have received over the last 20 years combined. As UAW members began voting on the agreements, Greenhouse spoke with Fain again on November 5.

Toyota and Tesla Announce Raises as They QUAKE in FEAR of UAW President Shawn Fain

UAW Snags Tentative Agreements at ALL of the Big 3, Creating Jobs, Raising Wages, Ending Tiers

'UAW Bump': Toyota Announces Raises After Union Reaches Tentative Deal With Big Three

By Olivia Rosane - Common Dreams, November 3, 2023

Days after the United Auto Workers announced tentative deals with the Big Three carmakers, Toyota confirmed this week that it would offer raises to its nonunion U.S. factory workers.

The Japanese automaker said Wednesday that hourly manufacturers at the top of the pay scale would see a 9% raise beginning January 1, Reuters reported. UAW president Shawn Fain, who is attempting to use the union's victory to bolster the wider labor movement, said that the timing of Toyota's announcement was no coincidence.

"Toyota isn't giving out raises out of the goodness of their heart," he said in a video statement shared by More Perfect Union on Friday. "Toyota is the largest and most profitable auto company in the world. They could have just as easily raised wages a month ago or a year ago. They did it now because the company knows we're coming for them."

Big 3 Buckled as Stand-Up Strike Spread

By Dan DiMaggio - Labor Notes, October 31, 2023

All three dominoes fell in a few days.

The Auto Workers (UAW) now have agreements with each of the Big 3 automakers. The new contracts are a sharp about-face from decades of concessions.

The tentative agreements go further than many thought possible on issues that the companies insisted were off the table. Stellantis agreed to reopen its idled Belvidere assembly plant. GM and Stellantis will include new battery plant workers in their master agreements.

While the contracts don’t abolish benefit tiers, they get rid of the many wage tiers the Big 3 had created to drive down pay. Some workers will see their pay more than double as a result.

The gains are a testament to the UAW’s bold, aggressive strategy under its new leadership, which ramped up the strikes, at first slowly and then faster until the companies caved one by one. It was a master class in worker power.

On Monday, the UAW announced it had reached a tentative agreement with General Motors, the last holdout. Workers at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee, Cadillac factory had joined the strike Saturday night.

The union announced tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis last week. The agreements came after UAW members struck at each company’s most profitable truck plant, the latest escalation in the union’s six-week Stand-Up Strike.

The 146,000 UAW members at all three automakers will vote on the contracts in the coming weeks. In the meantime, 50,000 strikers are headed back to work.

Auto Union Moves Forward

By Chris Townsend - Marxist-Leninism Today, October 30, 2023

Any knowledgeable observer of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) over the past 50 years would have inevitably been forced to note that over recent decades the union’s membership had been dramatically slashed by hostile employers and politicians, that both union activity levels and influence had declined massively, and in many quarters the auto union had been transformed into a particularly virulent company union.

So addled and company-captured was the UAW top leadership that by 2014 a series of federal government criminal investigations and prosecutions grew, expanded, and eventually led to the removal of more than 30 national UAW leaders. The resulting U.S. government-ordered union election which produced Shawn Fain as new President of the UAW in March of this year was an earthquake both inside and outside the union.

Auto union old guarders and employers alike both feared the election of Fain. But by the narrowest margins Fain was elected to the top spot, and in just several months the union is already well into an expanding process of renewal. It is still early, and only time will tell, but the current strike struggle is clearly solid evidence of the new leadership’s intention to restore the union to a serious trade union path.

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