Machinists Organizing at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama

Washington, D.C., March 17, 2006 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant near Tuscaloosa, AL are engaged in an all-out effort to win collective bargaining rights for nearly 3,000 production and maintenance workers at Mercedes’ first U.S.-based facility.

“This industry is undergoing extraordinary changes,” said Don Barker, the IAM representative coordinating the campaign. “If there was ever a time for workers to have professional representation and a voice at work, this is it.”

The campaign was launched with billboards and television ads as part of a significant outreach to community leaders and local businesses. “We want the community to know the Machinists have a long history of helping to bring good wages, benefits and health care to Alabama workers, and we intend to continue that tradition.”

Mercedes-Benz workers are represented by strong unions in Spain, Brazil, South Africa and Germany, where the company was founded more than a century ago. “The IAM is confident we can build a relationship with Mercedes that helps grow the company and gives workers in the U.S. the protection they need in these turbulent times,” said Barker.

The IAM is one of the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing nearly 720,000 active and retired members in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about the IAM and the campaign in Alabama, visit the website at www.goiam.org.