Mercedes Alabama workers vote against unionizing

UAW was trying to represent its first auto factories in state

Mercedes worker Rick Webster watches as votes from the union election are reported at the United Auto Workers union field office in Tuscaloosa. Associated Press photo by Kim Chandler.

Workers at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plants in Tuscaloosa voted against joining the United Auto Workers union in a vote that ended Friday morning.

The National Labor Relations Board said workers voted 2,642 to 2,045 against unionizing, according to press reports. About 5,075 workers at the plants — Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Vance and a nearby battery plant — were eligible to vote.

UAW was trying to unionize its first auto factories in Alabama. The union has made a push recently into the South. In  April, employees at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted to join the UAW.

The vote followed a slew of pro-union and anti-union messaging from various sources, including Gov. Kay Ivey, who warned that unionization could be harmful to economic development in the state.

Voting at the Tuscaloosa County plants took place beginning Monday.

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