UPDATE 2-UAW, German labor to announce Daimler Alabama drive -sources

Thu Oct 2, 2014 7:58pm EDT
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(Adds UAW confirmation of plan to create union local, Daimler no comment)

By Bernie Woodall and Jan Schwartz

DETROIT/BERLIN Oct 2 (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers and two German labor groups on Friday will announce plans to work together to organize Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz plant workers in Alabama, sources close to one of the German labor groups said on Thursday.

The move would be similar to efforts by the UAW and German labor to organize the Volkswagen AG plant in Tennessee.

The UAW hopes to eventually represent Daimler workers in Alabama in negotiations with the luxury automaker. There are about 2,500 full-time and 1,000 temporary workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Daimler works council chief Michael Brecht along with top UAW and German union IG Metall officials will announce the alliance in Tuscaloosa on Friday afternoon, sources said. The UAW confirmed an announcement would take place on Friday but did not elaborate.

Reuters reported last week that the groups would work together and that Brecht, who is also deputy chairman of the German luxury automaker, would meet with UAW officials in Alabama.

This week, the UAW said it has signed a letter to work in alliance with IG Metall and the Volkswagen global works council to help the UAW organize the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The U.S. union has fostered its alliance with IG Metall since 2009 when the UAW's president was Ron Gettelfinger and throughout Bob King's four-year term that ended in June when current President Dennis Williams took office.   Continued...