The week-long election to decide whether Mercedes-Benz workers in Vance will join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union ends on Friday, and results are expected to be announced as early as Friday afternoon. 

The UAW has momentum. Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga overwhelmingly voted to join the union in a National Labor Relations Board election that ended in April. Another win in the South in Vance by the UAW would show the result wasn’t an anomaly. 

"Workers at our plant are ready for this moment," Jeremy Kimbrell, a Mercedes worker at the Vance plant, said in a statement in April. "We are ready to vote yes because we are ready to win our fair share. We are going to end the Alabama discount and replace it with what our state actually needs. Workers sticking together and sticking by our community."

Governor Kay Ivey, Republican legislators, and the Business Council of Alabama have opposed UAW’s push into Alabama.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) replaced Michael Gobel on May 1 and named Federico Kochlowski as president and chief executive officer (CEO).

According to the Huffington Post, Kochlowski wrote in a letter to employees at the plant in Vance last week that the election marked “an important decision about how we work together for years to come.”

“And although I respect everyone’s right to take a position on this matter, I prefer that we work on our future together without anyone else between us,” Kochlowski said.

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