Press Release

AFL-CIO President on UAW Mercedes-Benz Vote Results in Alabama

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler released the following statement on the Mercedes-Benz workers’ unionization vote for UAW in Tuscaloosa, Alabama:

Today, the entire AFL-CIO family stands with the workers and organizers in Tuscaloosa. They put their heart and soul into the fight to join a union, resisting every union-busting tactic in the book—and they made huge strides. Like their fellow autoworkers at Volkswagen who lost their first vote, these brave workers have built a foundation that will only grow stronger in the coming months. 

During this campaign, Mercedes claimed to be neutral—but they were anything but. They held captive-audience meetings where they propagated lies and threats, fired their U.S. CEO and brought in a pastor to dissuade workers from joining the union. Gov. Kay Ivey and her anti-worker corporate allies fought this vote tooth and nail. That obstruction is part of a long oppressive history in the South, from slavery to Jim Crow “right to work” laws to prison labor. But today, young, Black, Brown and women workers in the South are writing a new chapter and building a new economy—one that lifts up workers rather than exploits them.

The entire labor movement sends a clear message to Mercedes workers today: We have your back. We are investing resources to support new organizing and infrastructure to build power with workers and communities to deliver for families across the South. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mercedes workers, UAW and President Shawn Fain as they move forward. Their fights are renewing optimism, inspiring solidarity and bringing new energy to the labor movement and to people across the country. No matter how tough the fight may seem, victory is always within reach when we stand together.

Contact: Mia Jacobs, 202-637-5018