Mercedes-Benz' Alabama workers grow tired of UAW campaign

Many workers still want to unionize, but not with the UAW.

The United Auto Workers has reportedly been asked to stop campaigning at Mercedes-Benz' Alabama facility, marking yet another setback for the union's southern push.

Tellingly, it is the pro-union employees in Tuscaloosa that are said to have grown tired of the UAW's stagnant, unsuccessful campaign.

Following the UAW's high-profile failure at Volkswagen's Chattanooga facility, the organization still has not moved to hold a unionization vote at the Mercedes-Benz plant after a lengthy campaign to drum up additional support. The UAW is said to have pushed for 65 percent of the workers to sign union authorization cards before holding a vote, only holding a vote once victory could be essentially guaranteed.

"This has gone on for two-and-a-half years, and people are burnt out," Mercedes-Benz worker Kirk Garner, a union support, told AL.

The UAW believed it had enough votes when it decided to hold an election early this year in Chattanooga, however the unionization proposal was rejected by a razor-thin margin amid strong influence from anti-union campaigns.

The UAW's own political contributions to Democrats were at the center of most anti-union campaigns in Tennessee, striking a chord with Republican voters in the red South.

The Mercedes-Benz workers want to bring in another organization, such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, but the AFL-CIO has provided the UAW with exclusive jurisdiction over the unionization push at the plant.

The UAW does not appear to be taking the hint, promising to stick around in Alabama and continue the fight rather than handing off the efforts to another union.

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