UAW files unfair labor practice charges against Hyundai, Honda and VW, accusing them of union busting

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain during an online broadcast updating union members on negotiations with the Detroit automakers on Oct. 6, 2023.


DETROIT – The United Auto Workers has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Honda Motor, Hyundai Motor and Volkswagen, accusing the automakers of unlawfully interfering with worker organizing, the union said Monday.

UAW alleges management at facilities for Honda in Greensburg, Indiana; Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama; and Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee have participated in illegal “union-busting as workers organize to join the UAW.”

The union alleges the activities range from surveillance of workers at Honda to confiscating, destroying, and prohibiting “pro-union materials in non-work areas during non-work times” at Hyundai.

At VW, the UAW alleges management has “harassed and threatened workers for talking about the union; confiscated and destroyed pro-union materials in the break room; attempted to intimidate and illegally silence pro-union workers; and has attempted to illegally prohibit workers from distributing union literature and discussing union issues in non-work areas on non-work time.”

“These companies are breaking the law in an attempt to get autoworkers to sit down and shut up instead of fighting for their fair share,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement. “But these workers are showing management that they won’t be intimidated out of their right to speak up and organize for a better life.”

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Spokespeople for Honda, Hyundai and Volkswagen did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The filings were not immediately available on the NLRB’s website, but the union provided them to CNBC.

The allegations against the employers occurred during the last six months, according to the filings, which were signed by UAW outside counsel Benjamin Dictor, an attorney with New York-based Eisner Dictor & Lamadrid.

The charges come roughly two weeks after the UAW said it was launching an unprecedented campaign to organize 13 non-union automakers in the U.S. after securing record contracts with the Detroit automakers.

Fain has said that after ratifying record contracts with General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis, the UAW next wants to expand its ranks at non-union automakers operating in the U.S.

UAW membership has been nearly cut in half from roughly 700,000 in 2001 to 383,000 at the beginning of this year. It peaked at 1.5 million in 1979.

Fain has vowed to move beyond the “Big Three” and expand to the “Big Five or Big Six” by the time its four-and-a-half-year contracts with the Detroit automakers expire in April 2028.

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