Mercedes-Benz workers in Vance voted against joining the United Auto Workers (UAW) in an election held this week.

In a National Labor Relations Board private election that began on Monday and ended Friday morning, 56% of workers voted against joining the union. The final tally saw 2,045 workers vote for joining and 2,642 workers vote against joining UAW.

After the votes were counted on Friday afternoon, UAW president Shawn Fain hinted his organization might try to unionize the Mercedes-Benz plant again.

“Justice isn’t about one vote or one campaign. It’s about getting a voice, getting your fair share. And let’s be clear: workers won serious gains in this campaign. They raised their wages, with the 'UAW bump.' They killed wage tiers. They got rid of a CEO who had no interest in improving conditions in the workplace. Mercedes is a better place to work thanks to this campaign, and thanks to these courageous workers,” Fain said in a statement. “The company told the workers to give the new CEO a chance. That’s exactly what Volkswagen told its workers in 2019. And in 2024, Volkswagen workers realized it’s not about a CEO. It’s about a voice on the job, it’s about getting our lives back, and getting our time back. The only path to do that is through a union contract.”

Fain also alleged the company is currently under investigation by the United States and German governments due to their anti-unionization efforts leading up to the election.

“Mercedes engaged in egregious illegal behavior. The federal government as well as the German government are currently investigating Mercedes for the intimidation and harassment they inflicted on their own workers. We intend to follow that process through,” Fain said. “This is a David and Goliath fight. Sometimes Goliath wins a battle. But David wins the war. These workers will win their fair share. And we will be there every step of the way to support them. We've been here before. We know what we're taking on. This company, like most corporations, operated off the same old playbook of fear, threats and intimidation. Our fight is also in the halls of the legislatures of this country. Sixty million Americans say they'd join a union if given the option. Polling here in Alabama and in Tennessee show people supported the UAW by a two to one margin. But with weak labor laws in place, sometimes the companies are able to turn those numbers around.”

Fain continued, “There are more than 2,000 workers at Mercedes in Alabama who want to join our union. They aren’t going away.”

Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI) said in a statement on Friday “our goal throughout this process was to ensure every eligible Team Member had the opportunity to participate in a fair election.”

“At MBUSI, our primary focus is always to provide a safe and supportive work environment for our Team Members, so they can build superior vehicles for the world. We look forward to continuing to work directly with our Team Members to ensure MBUSI is not only their employer of choice, but a place they would recommend to friends and family,” the statement continued.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) cheered the news of a majority of Mercedes-Benz workers rejecting the UAW on Friday.

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