By: Phoebe A. Taurick, Esq.
On January 15, the UAW announced that it will propose to raise its member dues from the equivalent of two hours of pay per month to 2.5 hours of pay. If approved at the union's quadrennial convention in June, this would be the first time the UAW has increased dues since 1967. These increased dues would be used to support the union's strike fund and its organizing efforts, particularly at southern plants for foreign-owned automobile manufacturers, such as its current organizing campaigns at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN, Nissan in Canton, MS, and Mercedes-Benz in Vance, AL.
UAW membership increased in 2012, to 382,513, but this number is far short of its peak in 1979, with 1.5 million members, or even the 654,657 members as recently as 2004. The UAW has historically used its strike fund liberally rather that go to its members for money, but that fund has dwindled in recent years with its decreasing membership.