The United Auto Workers (UAW) union commits $40 million to organize US auto and EV battery workers, marking a significant commitment to supporting the burgeoning electric vehicle sector. The move aims to strengthen the rights of the workers across the country.

The UAW announced its decision on Wednesday, stating that the funds will be used over the next two years to organize non-union automobile and EV battery workers. This represents one of the largest financial commitments to the organization of non-union workers in recent history. It shadows the union’s commitment to ensuring decent working conditions and fair pay for all workers in the auto industry, including those in the rapidly expanding EV battery sector.

The Funding’s Beneficiary

The funding will not only serve traditional auto jobs but will also extend to the growing electric vehicle and battery market. The UAW’s International Executive Board voted on Tuesday to commit the funds, reflecting their belief in the importance of supporting and organizing nonunion autoworkers and battery workers.

Currently, the UAW represents approximately 146,000 workers at these Detroit automakers and an additional 800 employees at a joint-venture battery plant in Ohio. With over a dozen U.S. battery plants planned by major companies like Toyota, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda, the UAW aims to ensure these new jobs will maintain or even enhance the current standards of auto industry employment.

In a recent update, the UAW reported a 3% increase in membership in 2022, bringing the total to 383,000 members. However, this number is still far below the peak membership of 1.5 million in 1979. The decline highlights the changing landscape of the automotive industry and the challenges faced by unions in maintaining strong membership numbers.

As the demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, so too does the need for skilled EV battery workers. the UAW’s commitment to investing $40 million into the organization marks an important step forward for the industry.

Image Source: Mother Jones