UAW will try to organize workers in all US non-union factories after winning new contracts in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Less than two weeks later Ratification of new contracts The United Auto Workers union, along with Detroit automakers, announced plans Wednesday to try to organize workers at more than a dozen non-union auto factories together.

The UAW says the campaign will cover about 150,000 workers in factories primarily in the South, where the union has had little success in recruiting new members.

The campaign will target US plants operated by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo. Also on the union's list are US factories operated by electric vehicle sales leader Tesla, as well as EV startups Rivian and Lucid.

"You don't have to pay paycheck to paycheck," union President Shawn Fenn appealed in a statement. for non-union workers, "You don't have to worry about how you're going to pay your rent or feed your family when a company makes billions. A better life is out there."

Toyota's 7,800-employee assembly complex in Georgetown, Kentucky, is one of the factories with the strongest interest in the union, the union said. A message was left seeking comment from Toyota.

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The organizing drive comes after a series of six-week strikes at factories operated by Ford, General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis that ended with new contracts. Under the contracts, top assembly plant worker pay will increase 33% by the time the deals expire in April 2028. The new contracts also eliminated some of the lowest wage levels, gave pay raises to temporary workers and reduced the time it took to become full-time. Employees should be taken to the top of the pay scale.

Top-level assembly workers will earn about $42 an hour at the end of the contract, plus they'll also receive an annual profit-sharing check.

Soon after the contract was signed, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru and Hyundai increased wages The union said the goal was to thwart UAW organizing efforts in American factories. Many companies have also reduced the number of years it takes for employees to reach the top of their pay scale.

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