Auto Supplier Employees Vote to Join UAW

One employee said having a union contract with the companies "will help us have a peace of mind that they can’t just change the rules at their whim.”

Workers at auto supplier GNS North America voted to join UAW Local 900, Region 1A.

Workers at two auto suppliers’ plants in Michigan have voted to join the United Auto Workers.

On Jan. 30, nearly 400 workers at Antolin Interiors USA in Howell, MI, voted overwhelmingly to join UAW Local 163, Region 1A. The workers, who make instrument panels and door panels for Ford, GM, Stellantis and PACCAR, launched their organizing drive last October.

More recently, on Feb. 20, the 100 employees at GNS North America in Canton, MI, voted to join UAW Local 900, Region 1A. These workers make hot stamping and conventional stamped parts for GM, Tesla and Stellantis. This includes structural parts, roof enforcements, bumper components, B-pillars and door beams.

Antolin workers voted to join the UAW “to stand united and have a voice against management as a whole,” said Jarrod Yost, a shipping and receiving worker at Antolin. “To be on common ground, to work together rather than against each other, and to gain more respect.”

“Our organizing efforts at Antolin Howell have been successful. Our members chose to organize after many losses to the company,” said James Matheny, a materials worker. “We lose eight hours per week of our weekly total if we have a day off or even a holiday. Favoritism is rampant and policy is manipulated. We are now union brothers and sisters. We can fight for a fair contract and work with the company, so we all succeed!”

“We’ve been dancing with the devil for way too long,” said Lanita Wilson, a production worker at Antolin Interiors. “UAW, we needed you now and now we have you! A contract in place will help us have a peace of mind that they can’t just change the rules at their whim.”

“Workers at Antolin in Howell expressed a desire for change in their workplace,” said UAW Local 163 President Al Byrd. “They called on UAW Local 163 for assistance. With Local 163’s help and Antolin’s hard work, Antolin won an election to get that change."

Workers at GNS said they voted to unionize for similar reasons.

“My coworkers, the VOCs, and I wanted to form and start a union. We felt a change was much needed,” said Gwendolyn Green, a weld operator. “I am very honored and excited to be a part of this group and most of all a part of the UAW once again.”

“Although the organizing process has been very rewarding, it was exhausting, being under management’s microscope throughout the campaign and not knowing what new union busting tactics they would throw at us the next day,” said Roberto Garcia, a laser automation technician. “In spite of the company’s efforts to suppress our union, we stood together in the face of adversity, supported each other, rallied others and ultimately, got the win! Looking forward to the much-needed change and a brighter future for all of us at GNS.”

“We welcome the GNS workers to the UAW and Local 900,” said UAW Local 900 President Dwayne Walker. “UAW Local 900 has a long tradition of standing with workers and the community to make people’s lives better. Congratulations on this hard-fought win!”

UAW Region 1A Director Laura Dickerson welcomed both companies’ employees.

“Workers are exercising their rights and making sure their voices are heard,” Dickerson said.

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