UAW Volkswagen & LGBTQIA+ Southern Workers

The workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee have recently voted in favor of joining the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. This marks a significant victory for UAW, which has attempted to organize the plant twice before, in 2014 and 2019, without success. The vote signals a growing trend of workers in the southern United States fighting back against anti-union campaigns, politicians, and legislation. 

UAW has announced that this is just the first step in their strategy to unionize more plants in the south. In May, there will be a vote at a Mercedes plant in Alabama, and UAW is also beginning organizing efforts at BMW, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Tesla and Nissan plants across several southern states. 

This is not only good news for workers, but also for LGBTQIA+ workers who work at these locations. They will receive much-needed protection that they currently may not have due to anti-LGBTQ state laws. With their new collective bargaining agreements, these workers will have contracts that prohibit discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, filling legislative gaps where they do not have that right in the state they reside.

As more workers in the Deep South are forming unions, it is important for these unions to advocate for contracts that have robust anti-discrimination provisions, ensure access to bathrooms and provide adequate healthcare services for transgender individuals. If your union requires assistance with upcoming negotiations or if you need training on how to incorporate LGBTQ-inclusive language in contracts, please feel free to contact us at