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Anti-union group calls UAW president an “election denier” over Mercedes-Benz plant vote challenge

The Center for Union Facts ran a full-page ad in The New York Times on May 30, accusing Fain of "trying to undermine workplace democracy"

An anti-union advocacy group has labeled UAW President Shawn Fain an “election denier” following his decision to challenge the results of last month’s vote at a Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Alabama. The Center for Union Facts ran a full-page ad in The New York Times on May 30, accusing Fain of “trying to undermine workplace democracy” by requesting a new election from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Fain and the UAW argue that Mercedes-Benz engaged in unfair labor practices that compromised the integrity of the election. In their filing with the NLRB, the UAW claimed that Mercedes’ anti-union campaign involved firing pro-union employees and holding captive-audience meetings to criticize the union. These actions, they contend, prevented employees from making a free and informed choice.

The initial vote at the Vance, Alabama, plant saw approximately 56% of workers reject unionization. This outcome followed a significant victory for the UAW at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, marking the first successful unionization of a foreign automaker’s assembly plant in the southern U.S.

Given the UAW’s challenge, an NLRB regional director is expected to review the case and determine whether a hearing is warranted. The Center for Union Facts ad draws parallels between Fain’s actions and the claims made by former President Donald Trump and many Republicans, including Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, about the alleged theft of the 2020 presidential election.

The Center for Union Facts, led by lobbyist Rick Berman, has a history of opposing regulations on various industries, including tobacco, fast food, and soft drinks. The group’s latest campaign against Fain highlights the contentious nature of unionization efforts in the automotive industry, particularly in the southern United States.

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