Workers at Troy Toyota see hefty raises on heels of UAW organizing efforts

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By SHERI GASSAWAY
Assistant Editor

UAW MEMBERS rally outside of the Toyota plant in Troy, Mo., March 16 as employees there launch a campaign to join the UAW. Two days earlier, the workers learned they would be receiving a second pay increase from the automaker. – UAW photo

Troy, MO – Just two weeks after the launch of a United Auto Workers (UAW) organizing campaign at the Toyota plant here, the Japanese company has agreed to implementing the biggest wage hikes for all its factory workers in 25 years.

“We’re standing up to say the latest UAW Bump at Toyota is just a down payment,” the union shared on its Facebook page. “It’s not nearly enough to make up for decades of rock bottom pay the company has forced on Troy workers. Our next UAW Bump is going to come in our contract when we win our union!”

UAW Organizing Representative Clint McGill said workers at the Troy Toyota plant have received one of the highest raises at the company – an extra $2.88 an hour. He said the employees will also be receiving a bonus in May.

“Ever since the UAW video came out, we’ve seen an increase in the number of union cards being signed at other Toyota plants,” McGill said. “It’s definitely caught the attention of auto workers across the United States.”

TOLL OF THE WORK
In the video “We Keep Toyota Running,” workers at the plant – which makes the cylinder heads for every Toyota engine made in North America – describe the toll of the work on their bodies. They talk about the 10- to 12-hour long days working in a plant that is over 100 degrees in the summer at a pace that’s just not safe.

In an accompanying news release, the workers also discuss the prevalence of repetitive injuries on the job and the reality of performing dangerous jobs without the proper safety gear. They also note they make more than $4 an hour less than their UAW counterparts. More than 30 percent of workers have signed union authorizations cards.

SECOND PAY RAISE
This is the second pay raise Toyota workers have received since November. The company raised pay by nine percent after the UAW won record contracts at the Big Three automakers that included 25 percent raises over a four-year agreement and the reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments among other wins.

On March 14 and 16, UAW members rallied outside of the plant in support of the Toyota workers and passed out information on joining the union. Passersby in the rural town of Troy showed their support with honks and waves.

NATIONAL MOVEMENT
The UAW organizing campaign at Troy Toyota marks the latest major breakthrough in the national movement of non-union autoworkers organizing to join the UAW in the wake of the historic Stand Up Strike victory at the Big Three auto companies.

Since then, 10,000 non-union autoworkers have signed union cards with public campaigns launched at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tenn., Mercedes in Vance, Ala., and Hyundai in Montgomery, Ala., while workers at over two dozen other facilities continue to organize.


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