United Auto Workers

United Auto Workers

Infobox Union
name= United Auto Workers
country= United States, Canada
affiliation= AFL-CIO, CLC
members= 464,910"Drop in U.A.W. Rolls Reflects Automakers’ Problems," "Associated Press," March 28, 2008.]
full_name= United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union

founded= May, 1935
office= Detroit, MI, United States
people= Ron Gettelfinger, president
website= [http://www.uaw.org www.uaw.org]
The United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union, better known as the United Auto Workers (UAW), is a labor union which represents workers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Founded in order to represent workers in the automobile manufacturing industry, UAW members in the 21st century work in industries as diverse as health care, casino gaming and higher education.

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, the union has approximately 800 local unions, which negotiated 3,100 contracts with some 2,000 employers.Fact|date=March 2008


The UAW was founded in May 1935 in Detroit, Michigan, under the auspices of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) after years of agitation within the labor federation. The AFL had focused on organizing craft unions since its founding in 1881 by Samuel Gompers. But at its 1935 convention, a caucus of industrial unions led by John L. Lewis formed the Committee for Industrial Organization, the original CIO, within the AFL. Within one year, the AFL suspended the unions in the CIO, and these, including the UAW, formed the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).

The UAW was one of the first major unions that was willing to organize African-American workers,with Ron Gettelfinger as its leader, which increased union ability to win recognition through election. The UAW rapidly found success in organizing with the sit-down strike — first in a General Motors plant in Atlanta, Georgia in 1936, and more famously in the Flint sit-down strike that began on December 29, 1936. That strike ended in February 1937 after Michigan's governor Frank Murphy played the role of mediator, negotiating recognition of the UAW by General Motors. The next month, auto workers at Chrysler won recognition of the UAW as their representative in a sit-down strike.

The UAW's next target was the Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford had promised that "The UAW would organize Ford over my dead body." Ford selected Harry Bennett to keep the union out of the company, and the Ford Service Department was set up as an internal security, intimidation, and espionage unit within the company, and quickly gained a reputation of using violence against union organizers and sympathizers (see The Battle of the Overpass). It took until 1941 for Ford to agree to a collective bargaining agreement with the UAW. By the end of the year, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor dramatically changed the nature of the UAW's organizing.

The UAW's Executive Board voted to make a "no strike" pledge to ensure that the war effort would not be hindered by strikes, and that pledge was later reaffirmed by the membership.

At the UAW's constitutional convention in 1946 Walter Reuther won the election for president and served until his death in a small airplane accident in May 1970 — leading the union during one of the most prosperous periods for workers in U.S. history. In the 1960s, the UAW used its strategy of negotiating a contract with one major auto maker and applying it to others to secure a number of new benefits for auto workers, including fully paid hospitalization and sick leave benefits at General Motors and profit sharing in American Motors. The UAW also grew to include workers in other major industries such as the aerospace and agricultural-implement industries.

During this time, UAW members became one of the best paid groups of industrial workers in the country — placing them solidly in the middle class of American society. However, by the end of this period, changes in the global economy, competition from European and Japanese automobile makers, and management decisions at the U.S. automakers had already started to significantly reduce the profits of the major auto makers and set the stage for the drastic changes in the 1970s.

The situation for the automotive industry and UAW members worsened dramatically with the 1973 oil embargo. Rising fuel priced caused the U.S. auto makers to lose market share to foreign manufacturers who placed more emphasis on fuel efficiency. This started years of layoffs and wage reductions, and the UAW found itself in the position of giving up many of the benefits it had won for workers over the decades. By the early 1980s, the state of Michigan had been devastated economically by the losses in jobs and income within the state's largest industry. This peaked with the near-bankruptcy of Chrysler in 1979. As a result of plant closings, cities such as Flint, Lansing, and to a lesser extent Detroit began to lose population and businesses. In 1985 the union's Canadian division disaffiliated from the UAW over a dispute regarding negotiation tactics and formed the Canadian Auto Workers as an independent union. Specifically the Canadian division claimed they were being used to pressure the companies for extra benefits which went mostly to the American members.

The UAW has seen a dramatic decline in membership since the 1970s. Membership topped 1.5 million in 1979. But because of restructuring and decline of the American domestic auto industry due in part by the increased compensation and benefits advocated by the UAW, membership fell to approximately 540,000 at the end of 2006 [Thomas, "UAW Membership, Dues Declined Last Year," "Associated Press," April 12, 2007.] and to just under 465,000 members by the end of 2007. The last time the UAW had fewer than 500,000 members was in 1941.

Academic Union

In the 1990s, the UAW began to focus on new areas of organizing both geographically — in places like Puerto Rico — and in terms of occupations, with new initiatives among university staff, freelance writers (through the subsidiary National Writers Union) and employees of non-profit organizations. And, since the 1980s the UAW is also taking on the organization of academic student employees (aka "ASEs") — typically Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, Graders, Tutors — under the slogan "Uniting Academic Workers". As of 2004, the UAW represents more ASEs than any other Union in the United States. Universities with UAW ASE representation include the University of California, California State University, University of Massachusetts, University of Washington, and New York University.

List of Locals

*Local 10, Doraville, GA
*Local 12, Toledo, OH
*Local 14, Toledo, OH
*Local 21, Traverse City, MI (Cone Drive Textron)
*Local 22, Detroit, MI (Cadillac local)
*Local 23, Indianapolis, IN
*Local 31, Fairfax, KS
*Local 95, Janesville WI
*Local 136, St. Louis MO
*Local 140, Warren, MI (Warren Truck Assembly Plant)
*Local 160, Warren, MI
*Local 163, Romulus, MI
*Local 211, Defiance, OH
*Local 239, Baltimore, MD
*Local 276, Arlington, TX
*Local 362, Bay City, MI
*Local 400, Utica MI
*Local 435, Wilmington, DE
*Local 440, Bedford, IN
*Local 465, Massena, NY
*Local 544, Pittsburgh, PA
*Local 549, Mansfield, OH
*Local 551, Chicago, Il
*Local 581, Flint, MI (Defunct Fisher Body 1 local)
*Local 594, Pontiac, MI
*Local 598, Flint, MI (Result of the 1937 Great Sit Down Strike, Flint Truck Assembly Local.)
*Local 599, Flint, MI (Buick City/Powertrain North local)
*Local 602, Lansing MI
*Local 651, Flint, MI (AC Sparkplug/Delphi Flint East local)
*Local 652, Lansing MI
*Local 653, Pontiac, MI
*Local 659, Flint, MI (Chevrolet Manufacturing/Delphi West, Flint Powertrain South, Flint Metal Center, Flint SPO)
*Local 668, Saginaw, MI
*Local 730, Grand Rapids, MI
*Local 735, Ypsilanti, MI
*Local 774, Tonawanda, NY
*Local 862, Louisville, KY
*Local 892, Saline MI
*Local 909, Warren, MI
*Local 933, Indianapolis, IN
*Local 974, Peoria IL
*Local 977, Marion, IN
*Local 1005, Parma, OH
*Local 1069, Ridley Park, PA
*Local 1292, Grand Blanc, MI
*Local 1714, Lordstown, OH
*Local 1752, Elmira NY
*Local 1853, Spring Hill, TN
*Local 2123, Fredericksburg, VA
*Local 2164, Bowling Green, KY
*Local 2166, Shreveport, LA
*Local 2209, Fort Wayne, IN
*Local 2244, Fremont CA
*Local 2250, Wentzville, MO
*Local 2300, Ithaca, NY
*Local 2335, Hammond, IN
*Local 2901, Warren, OH
*Local 3000, Woodhaven, MI
*Local 3520, Cleveland, NC
*Local 4112, Lordstown, OH
*Local 4911, Lansing, MI
*Local 5285, Mount Holly NC
*Local 5286, High Point NC
*Local 5960, Orion, MI

ee also

*2007 General Motors strike
*Carl Milles
*Final Offer - A documentary film that shows the 1984 contract negotiations, that would result in the union split of the Canadian arm of the UAW.
*Leon E. Bates
*Victor G. Reuther



*Barnard, John. "American Vanguard: The United Auto Workers During the Reuther Years, 1935-1970." Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2004. ISBN 0814329470
*Boyle, Kevin. [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=103671850 "The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968."] Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995. ISBN 080148538X
*Christman, Henry M. ed. "Walter P. Reuther: Selected Papers." Paperback ed. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger Publishing Company, 2007. ISBN 0548386187
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/business/28cnd-union.html "Drop in U.A.W. Rolls Reflects Automakers’ Problems." "Associated Press." March 28, 2008.]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=23319968 Goode, Bill. "Infighting in the UAW: The 1946 Election and the Ascendancy of Walter Reuther." Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Co., 1994.] ISBN 0313289040
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=61581612 Kornhauser, Arthur; Sheppard, Harold L.; and Mayer, Albert J. "When Labor Votes: A Study of Auto Workers." New York: University Books, 1956.]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=100548928 Lichtenstein, Nelson. "The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit: Walter Reuther and the Fate of American Labor." Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1995.] ISBN 025206626X
*Lichtenstein, Nelson and Meyer, Stephen, eds. "On the Line: Essays in the History of Auto Work." Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1988. ISBN 0252060151
* [http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2007-04-12-2249586268_x.htm Thomas, Ken. "UAW Membership, Dues Declined Last Year." "Associated Press." April 12, 2007.]
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=105846452 Tillman, Ray M. "Reform Movement in the Teamsters and United Auto Workers." In "The Transformation of U.S. Unions: Voices, Visions, and Strategies from the Grassroots."Michael S. Cummings and Ray Tillman eds. Boulder, Color.: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 1999.] ISBN 155587813X
* [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=30498029 Zieger, Robert H. "The CIO, 1935-1955." Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.] ISBN 0807821829

External links

* [http://www.uaw.org United Auto Workers Web site]
* [http://www.caw.ca/whoweare/ourhistory/cawhistory/index.html "History of the Canadian Auto Workers." Canadian Auto Workers]
* [http://www.reuther.wayne.edu/exhibits/sitdown.html "The Great Flint Sitdown Strike." Walter Reuther Library, Wayne State University]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • United Auto Workers — (UAW), mit vollem Namen The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, ist eine nordamerikanische Gewerkschaft. Sie wurde im Mai 1935 gegründet und zählt mit rund 465.000 Mitgliedern aus der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • United Auto Workers — (UAW) (nom officiel : United Automobile, Aerospace Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union) est un des plus importants syndicats d Amérique du Nord avec environ 700 000 membres aux États Unis, Canada et Porto… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • United Auto Workers — UAW [UAW] (in full United Automobile Workers)(also United Auto Workers) a large US trade union for workers in the car, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • United Auto Workers — ➡ UAW * * * …   Universalium

  • United Automobile Workers — United Auto Workers (UAW), mit vollem Namen The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, ist eine nordamerikanische Gewerkschaft. Sie wurde im Mai 1935 gegründet und zählt mit rund 465.000… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • United Automobile Workers — United Auto Workers United Auto Workers (UAW) (nom officiel : United Automobile, Aerospace Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union) est un des plus importants syndicats d Amérique du Nord avec environ… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Canadian Auto Workers — Full name National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada Founded 1985 Members 225,000 [1] Coun …   Wikipedia

  • United States presidential election, 1988 — 1984 ← November 8, 1988 → 1992 …   Wikipedia

  • United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2006 — 2000 ← November 7, 2006 → 2012 …   Wikipedia

  • Auto-Lite strike — The Toledo Auto Lite strike was a strike by a federal labor union of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) against the Electric Auto Lite company of Toledo, Ohio, from April 12 to June 3, 1934.The strike is notable for a five day running battle… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.