United Automobile Workers (UAW)

United Automobile Workers (UAW)

U.S.-based industrial union representing automotive and other vehicular workers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. The UAW was founded in Detroit, Mich., in 1935, when the Committee for Industrial Organization (see AFL-CIO) began to organize automotive workers. The union successfully countered automakers' initial resistance with sit-down strikes and a 1937 Supreme Court decision upholding the right to organize as declared in the Wagner Act. General Motors Corp. was the first to recognize the UAW, and most other automakers followed suit, though Ford Motor Co. continued to resist until 1941. Under Walter Reuther, the union won contracts providing for cost-of-living adjustments, health plans, and paid vacations. Reuther's friction with George Meany led the UAW to withdraw from the AFL-CIO in 1968. A short-lived alliance with the Teamsters was dissolved in 1972, and the UAW rejoined the AFL-CIO in 1981. Toward the end of the 20th century, the union's bargaining strength was eroded by an increasingly global labour market, effectively reducing the wages and benefits manufacturers were willing to pay American workers.


United Automobile Workers (UAW) in full International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America

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