Hyundai Plant Workers Organizing in Alabama Gain Steam After Stand-Up Strike

Originally published in Labor Today

The workers at the only Hyundai plant in the United States have launched a campaign to unionize under the United Auto Workers (UAW). A previous attempt to unionize in 2016 was quickly shut down due to manager intimidation. However, talks of unionization resumed during the pandemic and now the campaign has culminated in a public movement. As of early February, 30% of the plant had signed union cards.

Motivated by the difficult conditions at the plant, many report that the physical demands of the job are so high that they doubt they will be able to continue working until they are eligible for Medicare. The Montgomery plant is the second most productive plant in the world in terms of production speed, which only exacerbates the already challenging conditions. Additionally, Hyundai offers no sick days and only three personal days per year.

The hope is that unionization will not only bring wage increases but also retirement security, better safety standards and less demanding schedules. The mere discussion of a union led Hyundai to promise a 25% wage increase over four years and the success of UAW’s Stand-Up Strike has added fuel to the campaign. Workers remain committed to their cause and are eager to see the positive changes a union can bring.