Majority of Workers at Mercedes-Benz Alabama Plant Support Unionization

The push is driven by prolonged periods without meaningful raises, a divisive two-tier wage system, and the exploitation of temporary workers.

Alabama-Mercedes-Benz-plant-UAW-support
Mercedes-Benz released this file photo of workers at the Alabama facility beginning production of the EQS SUV in August 2022.

A majority of workers at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) plant in Vance, AL, have expressed their intention to unionize under the United Auto Workers (UAW), part of a growing trend among non-union autoworkers to organize for better conditions and wages.

"A majority of our coworkers at Mercedes here in Alabama have signed our union cards and are ready to win our union and a better life with the UAW,” said Jeremy Kimbrell, a Mercedes worker, in a video message.

The workers' push for unionization at MBUSI, which began in January, is driven by several critical issues, including prolonged periods without meaningful raises, a divisive two-tier wage system, and the exploitation of temporary workers. These concerns mirror the grievances that fueled the UAW’s Stand Up Strike last year against the Big Three, and have ignited a wave of organizing activity among America’s non-union autoworkers.

“There comes a time when enough is enough,” Kimbrell said. “Now is that time. We know what the company, what the politicians, and what their multi-millionaire buddies will say. They’ll say now is not the right time. Or that this is not the right way. But here’s the thing. This is our decision. It’s our life. It’s our community. These are our families. It's up to us.”

The union support at MBUSI represents the second plant in February to reach a majority in favor of unionizing, following a similar achievement by Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, TN. More than 10,000 non-union autoworkers across 14 auto companies have initiated efforts to join the UAW, riding the wave of the historic victories achieved through the Stand Up Strike.

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