Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

NYT FULL-PAGE AD: Is Shawn Fain America’s Latest Election Denier?

UAW President Shawn Fain loves to talk about “democracy” – until it doesn’t go his way. 

In a recent secret ballot vote, workers rejected the UAW at the Mercedes-Benz Alabama plant. But the UAW is disputing the results of its double digit loss. Despite around 90% of eligible workers participating in the union election (for reference, only around 66% of eligible voters voted in our last presidential election) and losing by a 12-point margin, the UAW is calling for a new vote

It’s an ironic twist for a UAW administration that claims to represent a more democratic new direction.

In reality, union activists admit they likely had less support at the plant than they publicly claimed: 

“But in conversations with organizers over the past month who didn’t want to be identified, the concept of a supermajority seemed elusive.”

Others note that the UAW made several strategic errors in the campaign, and the union lost momentum as it closed in on the vote:

“In the closing days of our campaign and while being an observer for the election, I noticed very few were still wearing the union hats, buttons, and bracelets that they were so proudly wearing just a couple months prior.” Jeremy Kimbrell, UAW organizer 

When workers change their minds on a union, it isn’t cause for a new vote. That’s just losing an election, fair and square. 

In response to this rejection of workplace democracy, the Center for Union Facts took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling out Shawn Fain’s efforts to overturn election results he doesn’t like. You can see the full ad here. 

Let’s just hope the National Labor Relations Board respects the will of the voters more than the UAW does. 

Categories: UAW