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UAW Changes Stategy, No Foreign Target For Union Drive This Year

Bob King

Posted: 12/07/11 05:46 PM ET

The UAW shifted gears on its organizing strategy, today, announcing it would not target a foreign auto manufacturer with plants in the United States for a unionizing effort.

UAW President Bob King had previously claimed the union would wage an informational campaign at a non-U.S. auto company by the end of the year. In fact, he had announced a $60 million campaign to organize foreign-owned plants in the Midwest and South.

"From day one, we used the wrong term -- 'target,'" UAW Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams told the Detroit Free Press Wednesday.

The union has said it still plans to carry on with its overall organizing strategy, but rather than focusing on one particular manufacturer, the UAW will continue to reach out to all companies with U.S. plants, the Free Press reports.

According to the Associated Press, King had been trying to push the UAW as a business partner to help drive sales, but no foreign manufacturer had agreed to let their workers vote on membership in the union.

The UAW's executive board would wait to see manufacturers' responses to union demands on respecting worker's rights before any new decision would be made on the topic, King told the Associated Press.

During the last decade, the UAW had conducted campaigns at the foreign-owned Nissan Motor Co. and auto-parts supplier Denso Corp., but had failed in those efforts, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The UAW has seen dwindling numbers in recent years. Membership has fallen from the union's peak of 1.5 million members in 1979 to about 377,000 at the end of last year, according to Reuters.

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Filed by David Sands  |