Features, Municipal Government, National, Transportation

UAW Expands Organizing Opportunities

February 21, 2018

By Neal Tepel

Todays UAW represents about 415,000 members with 70,000 in colleges and related jobs. The union’s organizing is no longer mainly in automotive factories but includes academia and other industries. UAW locals exist at 11 college campuses across the country. The diversified membership keeps the union strong in size and money, providing financial resources that benefits the UAW and all its members. The UAW has seen success at New York University, The New School, Boston College, Boston University and Cornell University. Organizing drives are underway across the country including Harvard, Columbia, Boston University and Northeastern University in Boston.

The current UAW organizing strategy has kept a once powerful union again financially strong and influencial. With the auto industry’s heavy shift toward technology and science, organizing college campuses turned out to be a home run for the UAW as well as those working at those institutions.

While in the past its union revenues were dropping creating an internal crisis. With its current program of diversified organizing,  the UAW finances fully recovered in 2015. The strike fund grew to $679 million. Total assets, which include buildings and other property, surpassed to $934 million. The union saw net income from operating funds increase from $5 million to $6 million in 2016.

Since 2010, over 25,000 academic workers have joined the UAW: Full- and part-time graduate workers, adjunct professors, postdoctoral researchers, and support staff. The UAW has organized workers in two dozen public and private school campuses in California, Washington, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut.

The agressive UAW organizing strategy is a futuristic model for the labor movement. Union organizing needs to reach every worker in every industry.

February 21, 2018

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