Following a successful six-week strike against Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has announced a campaign to organize 13 non-unionized automakers in the U.S. — including Tesla.
On Wednesday, the UAW announced that it’s launching union drives at Tesla, Honda, Hyundai, Lucid, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Rivian, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo (via CNBC). The news follows months of speculation that the union could target Tesla, with UAW President Shawn Fain even calling the company’s workers “members of the future.”
“To all the autoworkers out there working without the benefits of a union: Now it’s your turn,” Fain said in the recent video, which you can watch below.
From Toyota to Tesla, from California to South Carolina, America's autoworkers are ready to Stand Up and win their fair share of the auto industry's record profits.
— UAW (@UAW) November 29, 2023
Employees are now signing electronic documents to show support for the union efforts, which could potentially unionize most or all of the U.S. manufacturing plants in the industry. Still, it isn’t certain that the union would try to organize every single plant involved in the drive, and workers would still need to vote in favor of joining the union.
The UAW recently ratified labor contracts with GM, Ford and Stellantis which included initial wage increases of 25 percent, alongside gradual pay increases and cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) that amounted to around 33 percent over the contracts’ four-and-a-half-year period.
The so-called “Stand Up Strikes” that took place over much of September and October were the first labor efforts in history in which the UAW had launched strikes against all of the “Big Three” automakers of Detroit.
Since the strikes, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda have all raised pay at their non-unionized U.S. manufacturing facilities, following predictions that the UAW gains would cause wage hikes across the industry.
The news also comes ahead of Tesla’s launch of the Cybertruck on Thursday and after CEO Elon Musk has been outspoken about his disdain for unions over the years. Last year, Musk also invited the UAW to hold a vote at the company’s Fremont, California factory, though the union never followed up.