With recent decisions from the National Labor Relations Board favoring the United Auto Workers union, thousands of employees at Toyota and Honda plants in the United States are now moving to unionize. This follows the UAW’s successful effort to unionize workers at Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler.
The results of the hard-fought UAW victory were overwhelming with a 94 percent approval rate at Fiat Chrysler, 83 percent at Ford, and an impressive 71 percent at General Motors. This is seen as a sign that workers in the auto industry are more determined than ever to work together to improve their wages, benefits, and workplace safety.
In response to the UAW’s successes, Honda and Toyota US plants workers have started showing interest in joining the UAW. This is due to the increased attention given to the successes of UAW and the strong emphasis the union has placed on giving workers a seat at the bargaining table when it comes to negotiating better wages and working conditions.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director Peter Ohr recently granted UAW the right to represent workers at Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama plant, paving the way for hundreds of Honda workers to unionize. Employees at Toyota’s plant in Tupelo, Mississippi have also begun the process of unionizing with the help of the UAW.
Honda and Toyota have both argued that workers should not be compelled to join the union, and have sought resolutions that would allow workers to stay non-union if they so choose. Honda has proposed that any new contracts with UAW would allow for “union security” which gives employees the right to choose whether or not they want to join the union. Toyota has also proposed a similar resolution, claiming that it would be “more robust and comprehensive” than Honda’s proposal.
Regardless of the stance Honda and Toyota take on unionization, it is clear that thousands of workers have chosen to fight for their rights to better wages and working conditions. It remains to be seen if the UAW will be successful at organizing workers at Honda and Toyota plants, but one thing is certain: the recent surge of interest in unionizing across the auto industry is a sign of a growing workers’ rights movement in the United States.