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Mercedes workers set to vote for union in May

Five thousand workers will participate in the vote facilitated by the National Labor Relations Board.

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Are workers in Alabama less than a month from agreeing to form a union at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance?

It was announced Thursday that the election to create a union would be held on May 13-17 in person at the Mercedes plant. Five thousand workers will participate in the vote facilitated by the National Labor Relations Board.

The election announcement comes just four months after workers initially proclaimed they were seeking to join the United Auto Workers (UAW). Several workers at the plant commented that they were ready for the election and to win the union.

“Workers at our plant are ready for this moment,” said Jeremy Kimbrell in a statement. “We are ready to vote yes because we are ready to win our fair share. We are going to end the Alabama discount and replace it with what our state actually needs. Workers sticking together and sticking by our community.” 

Since the unionization campaign has begun Gov. Kay Ivey, the Business Council of Alabama and other business friendly entities have publicly decried the efforts to join the UAW. Earlier this week Ivey joined several other southern governors denouncing the UAW’s unionization efforts throughout the South.

“We the governors of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are highly concerned about the unionization campaign driven by misinformation and scare tactics that the UAW has brought into our states,” a joint statement said. “As governors, we have a responsibility to our constituents to speak up when we see special interests looking to come into our state and threaten our jobs and the values we live by.

But auto-industry workers in the state remain undeterred in seeking to unionize as they have routinely complained about a lack of feasible pay increases, disrespect by bosses, unsafe work environments and lack of time with family.

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Billy Guyton, a worker at the plant, stated that he was ready for the union to advance after Mercedes executives continued, “rolling things back.”

“We’re tired of Mercedes executives rolling things back,” Guyton said. “We’re going to roll our union forward.”  

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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