October 7, 2014
By Stephanie West
Tuscaloosa, Alabama — Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) employees and the UAW — with support from the Daimler World Employee Committee and the German automotive trade union IG Metall — announced the formation of UAW Local 112. This new local union will provide representation for workers at the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Vance, Alabama., near Tuscaloosa.
This plant in Tuscaloosa County is the only Daimler plant in the world that does not currently offer employee representation. Organized by theI employees, UAW Local 112 offers workers the opportunity for a voice in the workplace that aligns with Daimler AG’s global commitment to the German principle of “co-determination” between management and employees. UAW Local 112 will represent any interested employees who join the local as members. No employees will be required to join.
“Mercedes-Benz is one of the most storied brands in the history of the global automotive industry, and that’s in large part because of the company’s workers,” said Dennis Williams, president of the UAW. “It’s time for the committed and hard-working employees at the Mercedes-Benz to have the same representation that Daimler employees enjoy around the world. It’s the right thing to do. Plus, it will improve productivity and quality, ensuring success for both the company and the workforce.”
Williams noted that the UAW already represents nearly 7,000 workers at Daimler plants in the U.S., including Daimler Trucks North America facilities in North Carolina.
“We are asking Daimler to respect our right to representation and give the same opportunities to Alabama’s working families that have been extended to our counterparts elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world,” said Rodney Bowens, who works in quality at the MBUSI body and paint shops. “Our hope is that management will recognize the importance of this announcement and welcome our new local union into the Daimler family.”
The announcement of UAW Local 112 follows a recent agreement between the UAW, the Daimler World Employee Committee, and IG Metall to advance employee representation at MBUSI.