Workers at Mercedes factories near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to vote in May on United Auto Workers union

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DETROIT (AP) — Thousands of workers at a big Mercedes-Benz factory near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will vote next month on whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union.

The National Labor Relations Board said Thursday that the vote will take place from May 13 to May 17 at the facilities in Vance and Woodstock, Alabama. Votes will be counted by the agency on May 17.

The NRLB said that the company and the union agreed to the election dates.

The vote will be the second in the union’s drive to organize 150,000 workers at more than a dozen nonunion auto manufacturing plants largely in Southern states. About 4,300 workers at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, are voting on union representation this week, with the vote tally to be announced on Friday.

The organizing effort comes after the UAW won big pay raises after striking Detroit’s three automakers last fall.

The Mercedes facilities had about 6,100 employees as of the end of 2023. More than 5,000 are calling for the union vote, UAW has said.

In response to the workers’ petition, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International stated that it “fully respects our Team Members’ choice (on) whether to unionize.” The company added that it plans to ensure all workers have a chance to cast their own secret-ballot vote and have access to “the information necessary to make an informed choice” during the election process.

The UAW has accused Mercedes management of anti-union tactics in recent weeks, filing federal labor charges against the company.

Earlier this week the governors of six Southern states, including Alabama and Tennessee, put out a statement saying that workers will put their jobs in jeopardy if they vote for a union.

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