UAW Membership Reaches Highest Level Since 2008 image

In 2012 UAW membership increased 0.5% to 382,513 members, the highest level since 2008 and the third straight year of gain.

The United Auto Workers said that its membership began to increase as US automaker began to add new jobs amid rising sales. In 2018 the UAW had 431,037 members, in 2011 it had 380,719 and in 2012 the number increased to 382,513. Still, the union’s membership is about one-fourth its size in 1979, when it reached a record number of 1.5 million members.

“This is the third straight year of membership growth, which is a very positive sign for the union,” said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “They seem to have turned the corner after the previous five straight years of significant declines. It’s a tough battle to get back to where they once were, though.”

The UAW tries to further increase its membership by representing workers at VW’s and Nissan’s US factories. Until now, the union’s attempts to represent workers at Nissan, Toyota and Honda plants in the US have been a failure. Regarding this issue, VW said that it lets its workers at the Chattanooga plant, Tennessee, to decide whether they want to be represented or not.

“It’s ultimately for the workers to decide how and by whom they want to be represented,” Markus Schlesag, a Volkswagen spokesman, said in a telephone interview.