United Automobile Workers

Apr 29 2024

“Living Large at Mercedes?”: New UAW Video Exposes Staggering CEO Pay at Mercedes Ahead of Alabama Plant Union Vote

In a new video, non-union autoworkers from the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala., share the staggering  compensation that Mercedes executives enjoy while workers struggle with the “Alabama Discount.” Workers in the video contrast the 80% pay raise Mercedes CEO Dimitris Psillakis got last year against the meager increases given to workers.  

The video can be accessed at this link, and the media is invited to use the footage. The transcript of the video, which features three Mercedes workers, reads as follows:  

“Let’s talk about fairness at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama.  

“In the plush offices of Mercedes executives, something outrageous is happening. Last year, Mercedes CEO saw his pay increase by a staggering 80%. Not stopping there. The entire Mercedes management board chose to give themselves a 78% pay increase last year. That’s over $27 million in raises for only eight people.  

“It would take a production worker at top pay two years to earn what a Mercedes executive earns in just one week. But what about the hardworking Mercedes employees right here in Alabama? This year, Mercedes announced they were giving us a meager 6% pay increase. That’s what we call the Alabama Discount, and we’re going to bring it to an end. It’s time for change at Mercedes. It’s time for justice in Alabama. It’s time for Mercedes workers to Stand Up.” 

The video dropped on the heels of Friday evening’s historic tentative agreement at Daimler Truck, where 7,000 UAW members in the South won a contract with record raises, the end of tiers and, for the first-time ever for Daimler workers, profit-sharing and cost-of-living adjustments.  

The Daimler contract victory is another major win for the UAW following last fall’s record contracts at the Big Three automakers after their 44-day Stand-Up Strike. More than 10,000 non-union autoworkers have signed UAW cards in recent months, with public campaigns launched at Mercedes, Volkswagen, Hyundai in Montgomery, Ala., and Toyota in Troy, Mo. Workers at over two dozen other facilities are also actively organizing.  

Last week, autoworkers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN, made history by overwhelmingly voting to join the UAW, the first auto plant in the South to unionize in decades.   

The 5,000 workers at Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Ala., will have their vote to join the UAW from May 13 to 17. For more information, visit uaw.org/join. 

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Contact Information

Jonah Furman

Feldman Strategies, team@feldmanstrategies.com