The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers (UAW), is a labor union which represents workers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and formerly in Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1930s, the UAW grew rapidly from 1936 to the 1950s. Under the leadership of Walter Reuther it played a major role in the liberal wing of the Democratic party, including the civil rights and anti-Communist movements. The UAW was especially known for gaining high wages and pensions for the auto workers, but it was unable to unionize auto plants built by foreign-based car-makers in the South after 1970s, and went into a steady decline in membership.
UAW members in the 21st century work in industries as diverse as autos and auto parts, health care, casino gaming and higher education. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, the union has about 390,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in 750 local unions, which negotiated 2,500 contracts with some 1,700 employers.
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Famous quotes containing the words workers and/or united:
“The industrial world would be a more peaceful place if workers were called in as collaborators in the process of establishing standards and defining shop practices, matters which surely affect their interests and well-being fully as much as they affect those of employers and consumers.”
—Mary Barnett Gilson (1877?)
“What lies behind facts like these: that so recently one could not have said Scott was not perfect without earning at least sorrowful disapproval; that a year after the Gang of Four were perfect, they were villains; that in the fifties in the United States a nothing-man called McCarthy was able to intimidate and terrorise sane and sensible people, but that in the sixties young people summoned before similar committees simply laughed.”
—Doris Lessing (b. 1919)