Alabama Mercedes workers to vote on union representation

Thousands of Alabama Mercedes-Benz workers will vote in May to determine if they want United Auto Workers (UAW) union representation.

The election is set for May 13-17 and will be held in person in Vance, Ala. The National Labor Relations Board, which will administer the vote, will count the ballots on May 17.

The vote comes as around 4,300 workers at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., are voting this week on union representation, the results of which are expected Friday.

The development is part of UAW’s push to unionize workers at auto manufacturing factories in Southern states.

“Workers at our plant are ready for this moment,” said Jeremy Kimbrell, a Mercedes worker at the Alabama plant. “We are ready to vote yes because we are ready to win our fair share. We are going to end the Alabama discount and replace it with what our state actually needs. Workers sticking together and sticking by our community.”

Mercedes-Benz said the company supports the vote.

“MBUSI fully respects our Team Members’ choice whether to unionize and we look forward to participating in the election process to ensure every Team Member has a chance to cast their own secret-ballot vote, as well as having access to the information necessary to make an informed choice,” a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

UAW secured pay hikes last year after striking against the former “Big Three” automakers. The union reached an agreement with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis in late October, a product of six weeks of strikes.

Earlier this week, six Southern state governors warned workers that by joining the UAW, they are risking their job security and the “values we live by.”

“As Governors, we have a responsibility to our constituents to speak up when we see special interests looking to come into our state and threaten our jobs and the values we live by,” Republican Govs. Bill Lee (Tenn.), Kay Ivey (Ala.), Brian Kemp (Ga.), Tate Reeves (Miss.), Henry McMaster (S.C.) and Greg Abbott (Texas) wrote.

Updated at 5:28 pm EST.

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