Organizing Drive Gears Up at Alabama Mercedes Plant

March 16, 2006 – Fair wages, a voice at work and decent benefits are the foundations for a good job anywhere in the United States. Increasingly, however, these benefits are only available to union members with access to collective bargaining rights.

In Tuscaloosa, AL, nearly 3,000 workers at a state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz facility are looking forward to joining those ranks as an IAM organizing campaign there gathers steam.

Roadside billboards, television ads and a website showing IAM members as solid citizens are early highlights of the campaign, aimed at securing the support of the community as well as informing workers about their legal right to organize.

“We’re letting people know the right to organize and form a union is protected by federal law,” said GLR Don Barker, who is coordinating the IAM drive at Mercedes-Benz. “There’s a long history of unions helping to bring good wages, benefits and health care to Alabama workers, and we intend to continue that tradition.”

One of the few unions to be founded in the South, the IAM currently represents more than 7,500 workers across Alabama in jobs ranging from aircraft mechanics at Pemco in Dothan, AL to rocket builders at Boeing in Huntsville and Decatur, AL.

“We want the men and women at Mercedes-Benz to know that we’re proud to be a part of this community, this state and this country,” said Barker. “There are IAM members in all 50 states and we’re looking forward to giving workers in Tuscaloosa the same rights and opportunities enjoyed by IAM members everywhere.”