UAW asks NLRB to reject Mercedes vote results, order new election

Kalea Hall, The Detroit News on

Published in Business News

The United Auto Workers is asking federal officials to reject the results of last week's failed Mercedes-Benz unionization vote and order a new election.

The Detroit union wants the National Labor Relations Board to void the organizing election the union lost at the Mercedes Vance, Alabama, plant and order a new election on the grounds that the German automaker fired four pro-union workers and allowed anti-union employees to solicit support on company time while barring union supporters from doing the same, among other discriminatory actions.

After a five-day election last week, 56% of workers at the Mercedes plant voted against unionizing with the UAW.

Kayla Blado, a spokesperson for the NLRB, confirmed that its Region 10-Atlanta office received the UAW’s objections to the election.


"The Regional Director will review the objections and could order a hearing over them," Blado said in a statement. "If the Regional Director finds that the employer's conduct affected the election, she can order a new election."

The UAW said in a Friday statement that "over 2,000 Mercedes workers voted yes to win their union after an unprecedented, illegal anti-union campaign waged against them by their employer. What that tells us is that in a fair fight, where Mercedes is held accountable to following the law, workers will win their union. All these workers ever wanted was a fair shot at having a voice on the job and a say in their working conditions. And that’s what we’re asking for here. Let’s get a vote at Mercedes in Alabama where the company isn’t allowed to fire people, isn’t allowed to intimidate people, and isn’t allowed to break the law and their own corporate code, and let the workers decide.”

A Mercedes spokesperson responded to the UAW's filing on Friday with this statement: "Over 90 percent of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) Team Members made their voices heard through a secret-ballot vote and the majority indicated they are not interested in being represented by the UAW for purposes of collective bargaining. Our goal throughout this process was to ensure every eligible Team Member had the opportunity to participate in a fair election. We sincerely hoped the UAW would respect our Team Members’ decision. Throughout the election, we worked with the NLRB to adhere to its guidelines and we will continue to do so as we work through this process."

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