Following its six-week-long targeted strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, the union reached a tentative agreement with all three automakers last month, which has since been ratified by UAW workers. Ford CEO Jim Farley was quick to note that he’s happy for those workers and the benefits they’ll receive as part of the new master contract, but also pointed out that the new deal will be quite costly for the automaker – in fact, just this morning, we learned that the strike alone consumed $1.7 billion in profit, not accounting for future losses. Regardless, the UAW is now shifting its focus to organizing automakers that build vehicles in the U.S. that aren’t represented by a union, and it’s kicking off that efforts with a new campaign called “It Starts With You.”
In the video, the UAW points out that non-union workers at around a dozen U.S. plants are starting a campaign to organize those facilities. This includes Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant, Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama plant, and Volkswagen’s facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In total, the UAW is aiming to organize around 13 plants, which employ roughly 150,000 people, and are operated by Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, Mazda, Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid.
“To all the autoworkers out there working without the benefits of a union: now it’s your turn,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in the video. “Since we began our Stand Up Strike, the response from autoworkers at non-union companies has been overwhelming. Workers across the country, from the West to the Midwest and especially in the South, are reaching out to join our movement and to join the UAW. So go to uaw.org/join. 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.”
It is worth noting that following the new master contract agreements with Ford, GM, and Stellantis, a number of other automakers proceed to give their own factory workers in the U.S. raises and other benefits expansions. Thus far, that list includes Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen.