Following multiple contract wins for the United Auto Workers union, including their historic deal with Detroit’s Big Three automakers and the new tentative agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the union is now setting its sights on organizing 150,000 workers at 13 non-union car companies, UAW President Shawn Fain announced last week.
The drive will target U.S. plants run by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo, as well as U.S. factories run by electric vehicle sales leader Tesla and EV startups Rivian and Lucid. The union says thousands of workers have already signed union cards.
David Straughn, automotive journalist for Automoblog, joined Detroit Today on Wednesday to discuss the ripple effect these new labor agreements are having on the labor market, and more specifically, the impact on union and non-union automakers and their workers.
Subscribe to Detroit Today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org or wherever you get your podcasts.
David Straughn is an automotive journalist for Automoblog. He says since the United Auto Workers won their contracts, auto companies — including Volkswagen, Nissan, Hyundai, and Toyota — have increased worker wages in order to dissuade their workers from unionizing.
“The argument is being made from these companies that you don’t need the unions to have your wages raised,” said Straughn. “But, in effect, they are making the opposite argument in what they are saying, [that] unionization kinda worked, even if indirectly.”
Listen to Detroit Today with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.