UAW Embarks on a Historic Drive to Unionize US Automakers


In a groundbreaking move, the United Auto Workers (UAW) has initiated a large-scale public campaign to unionize all nonunion automakers in the United States. This comes on the heels of the UAW securing record labor contracts with the Detroit Three car companies. The union’s new initiative aims to bring together workers from over a dozen nonunion automakers across the country, marking a significant shift in the labor landscape of the US auto industry.

A New Era for Auto Workers
The UAW’s campaign is set to cover nearly 150,000 autoworkers across 13 automakers. The union has launched a new webpage,, where thousands of non-union autoworkers are signing up to publicly organize and join the UAW. This move signifies a new era of labor organization in the auto industry, with workers from across the country, particularly in the West, Midwest, and South, expressing interest in joining the UAW.

The Organizing Process
The UAW has outlined a clear process for this organizing drive. Once 30% of workers at a plant sign union cards on the UAW’s new webpage, the union will request a vote from the National Labor Relations Board. If a majority of workers vote in favor, the plant will be unionized. This process is designed to be transparent and democratic, ensuring that all workers have a say in their representation.

The Response from Automakers
While this is not the first time the UAW has attempted to unionize nonunion US auto factories, the scale and public nature of this campaign are unprecedented. Many of these factories are owned by Asian and European automakers and are located in Southern US states where “right-to-work” labor laws make union dues optional. Despite previous unsuccessful attempts, the recent contract settlements with the Detroit automakers have prompted concern among these nonunion factories, leading to a heightened response.

A Better Life for Auto Workers
The UAW’s campaign is driven by a vision of a better life for auto workers. As UAW representative Fain stated, “You don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck, you don’t have to worry about how you’re gonna pay your rent or feed your family while the company makes billions. A better life is out there and it starts with you: UAW.”

What is the United Auto Workers (UAW)?
The United Auto Workers is a labor union that represents workers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It was founded in 1935 and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, one of the largest federations of unions in the United States.

What are the Detroit Three car companies?
The Detroit Three refers to the three major automobile manufacturers based in Detroit, Michigan: General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis North America (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).

What does it mean to unionize?
To unionize means to form a labor union, which is an organized group of workers who come together to make decisions about the conditions of their work. This can include negotiating wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing, and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety, and policies.

What are “right-to-work” laws?
“Right-to-work” laws are statutes in 27 U.S. states that prohibit union security agreements between companies and labor unions. Under these laws, employees in unionized workplaces are banned from negotiating contracts which require all members who benefit from the union contract to contribute to the costs of union representation.