The United Auto Workers union (UAW) recently logged a great success in its fight for its members’ rights: the union succeeded in unionizing thousands of workers who had been denied collective bargaining rights at some of the nation’s biggest automakers, including Toyota, Honda, and other companies.
The big three automakers—Ford, GM, and Chrysler—had long been seen as the most-powerful of the unionized automotive firms, and the UAW had faced opposition from them for a long time. However, after the UAW scored an important win at the NLRB election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, the union won the right to collectively bargain with the rest of the automakers. It was the first major victory for the union since its 2014 organizing drive at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, which ultimately failed.
This latest success comes at a time when organized labor in the US is under increased pressure from employers, and workers are increasingly apprehensive about their future in the face of a rise of automation and other technology. As the UAW victory demonstrates, however, unions are still a powerful force for protecting workers’ rights and ensuring that their employers are held accountable.
In the wake of this major victory, many other auto workers across the country have moved to unionize, including those at Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and other automakers. With union representation, these new members will now be able to benefit from the same union rights that the big three have already enjoyed, including the powerful right to collectively bargain wages and secure benefits. This of course comes with additional costs, but the union is confident that the benefits of union membership for workers will outweigh the costs in the long run.
What’s more, the UAW victory has sparked a wave of unionization that is likely to continue over the coming years, as auto workers become increasingly aware of the advantages collective bargaining can bring. The strength of unions such as the UAW will not only ensure the rights of automakers’ workers, but strengthen the labor movement as a whole and empower workers to fight for better wages and better working conditions.