Following its six-week-long targeted strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, the United Auto Workers (UAW) reached a tentative agreement with all three automakers recently, which has since been ratified by 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, the strike ultimately 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, recently launching a new campaign promoting its services. Now, the UAW is accusing some of Ford’s rivals of unfair labor practices – specifically, Honda in Indiana, Hyundai in Alabama, and Volkswagen in Tennessee.
“We are filing an unfair labor practice charge against Honda because of management illegally telling us to remove union stickers from our hats, and for basically threatening us with write-ups,” said Honda worker Josh Cupit. “It’s essentially to show Honda that we know what our rights are and that they’re not gonna bully us and we’re not gonna back down from ’em. And we know that they are in the wrong.”
Workers at the three aforementioned plants are reportedly being “targeted and surveilled” by management for pro-union activity, even stopping them from distributing flyers or confiscating and destroying them. “Management has harassed and threatened workers for talking about the union; confiscated and destroyed pro-union materials in the break room; attempted to intimidate and illegally silence pro-union workers; and has attempted to illegally prohibit workers from distributing union literature and discussing union issues in non-work areas on non-work time,” the union said in a statement.
“These companies are breaking the law in an attempt to get autoworkers to sit down and shut up instead of fighting for their fair share,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “But these workers are showing management that they won’t be intimidated out of their right to speak up and organize for a better life. From Honda to Hyundai to Volkswagen and beyond, we’ve got their back. The auto industry’s record profits should mean record contracts for these workers, too.”
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.