A “supermajority” of Mercedes-Benz workers in Vance have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking a vote to join the United Auto Workers (UAW), according to a news release from the UAW on Friday.

The over 5,000 workers at the Mercedes plant are the second group of Southern autoworkers to call for a union election in less than three weeks. Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga filed for their election in mid-March and will have their vote on joining the UAW on April 17-19.  

The Mercedes workers hope the vote will happen by early May. The NLRB will set the exact date for the election

“We are standing up for every worker in Alabama. At Mercedes, at Hyundai and at hundreds of other companies, Alabama workers have made billions of dollars for executives and shareholders, but we haven’t gotten our fair share. We’re going to turn things around with this vote. We’re going to end the Alabama discount,” Jeremy Kimbrell, a measurement machine operator at Mercedes, said in a statement.

A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said in response to the filing, “We believe open and direct communication with our Team Members is the best path forward to ensure continued success.”

“The UAW has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to become the exclusive bargaining representative for a group of Team Members at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI). MBUSI fully respects our Team Members’ choice whether to unionize and we look forward to participating in the election process to ensure every Team Member has a chance to cast their own secret-ballot vote, as well as having access to the information necessary to make an informed choice,” the Mercedes-Benz spokesman said in a statement to 1819 News. “MBUSI has a strong record of success over the past 25+ years operating as One Team in Alabama. Our primary focus at MBUSI is always to provide a safe and supportive work environment for our Team Members, so they can continue to build safe and superior vehicles for the world.”

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.

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