UAW kicks off organizing effort at 13 non-union automakers, including Toyota and Tesla

Autoworkers at more than a dozen non-union facilities are organizing a campaign to join the UAW, the labor group's website announced Wednesday. Some of the biggest names in automotive manufacturing, like Toyota and Hyundai, are targets. 

After an intense round of negotiations with the Detroit 3 automakers, the United Auto Workers union says it is expanding its push for better benefits and pay at other auto plants where non-union members are employed.

The campaign "will cover nearly 150,000 autoworkers across at least thirteen automakers," the website said. If successful, the effort would double the union's membership, which currently stands at a little less than 150,000.

Those automakers include Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, Mazada, as well as electric vehicle makers like Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid.

"To all the autoworkers out there working without the benefits of a union: now it’s your turn," said UAW President Shawn Fain in a video posted on social media Wednesday. Fain has hinted at larger plans for a greater organizing effort near the end of collective bargaining with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. 

Negotiations with the American automakers ended in major gains in wages, retirement benefits, as well as an end to worker tiers at factories. 

Anticipating the time to strike is now, Fain called on workers at plants around the U.S. to join them. 

"The money is there. The time is right. And the answer is simple. You don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay your rent or feed your family while the company makes billions. A better life is out there," he said.


UAW president takes victory lap on new deals, seeks to jumpstart new labor movement

Local union groups are voting on whether to ratify the agreements secured between the UAW and the Big three. The UAW president has called the deal historic.

On the union's website, workers at Toyota's assembly plant in Kentucky, Hyundai's plant in Alabama, and Volkswagen's plant in Tennessee are quoted as endorsing plans to unionize.

According to the UAW's website, "one of the strongest campaigns" is underway at Toyota's Georgetown plant where it builds the RAV 4 and Camry. 

Shortly after workers ratified deals with the UAW members at the Detroit Three, Japanese automakers said they planned to raise hourly wages for its workers in January. The UAW said the companies feared a "surge of enthusiasm for organizing."