United Automobile Workers

Jan 23 2024

United Auto Workers and Community Groups Demand Accountability From Hyundai Ahead of Major Transit Contract Approval

Following historic contract negotiations with the “Big 3” U.S. automakers, UAW members across multiple states are demanding accountability from Hyundai over a proposed $730 million rail car purchase by L.A. Metro.

WHEN:      Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 10:00am PST

WHERE:     Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation
                    Authority (LA Metro) Headquarters
                    One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012
                    3rd Floor, Metro Board Room

On Thursday, January 25, a national coalition led by the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Jobs to Move America (JMA) will demand that Hyundai commit to a national community benefits agreement to address outstanding complaints about the use of child labor by direct suppliers, as the Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors is set to approve a major contract to a Hyundai subsidiary.  Building on the success of the United Auto Workers' (UAW) Stand Up Strike victory at Stellantis, Ford and General Motors, the UAW, in partnership with community organizations like Jobs to Move America (JMA), is demanding that vehicle purchases with public money ANYWHERE result in good jobs and community benefits EVERYWHERE.

At Thursday’s meeting, Metro will be approving the award of a $730 million contract for the purchase of 182 heavy rail vehicles (HRVs) to Hyundai Rotem, a subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Group. In 2022, a Reuters investigation found that four major suppliers of Hyundai Motor Company and sister Kia Corporation, had employed child labor at Alabama factories in recent years, with up to ten additional suppliers being investigated for child labor by various state and federal law enforcement or regulatory agencies. Given Hyundai's history of benefiting from the use of child labor, the coalition is demanding that Hyundai commit to a national community benefits agreement that would ensure improved working conditions,  guard against child labor, and create inclusive training and hiring programs for women, workers of color and formerly incarcerated individuals at all Hyundai-Kia facilities and their suppliers.

Community benefits agreements have been used by Jobs to Move America and multiple labor, environmental and community based organizations to negotiate commitments from companies to create good jobs, cutting edge training and hiring initiatives and ensure that the transition to electric vehicles doesn’t leave working families in the dust. Many of L.A. Metro’s existing vehicle suppliers already have community benefits agreements that have helped create high quality jobs and highly skilled workforces at companies like BYD, New Flyer and Kinkisharyo. 

L.A. Metro has been a national leader in good job creation as one of only a handful of public agencies that utilizes job quality standards for manufactured equipment called the Manufacturing Careers Policy. Modeled after the U.S. Employment Plan that was co-developed with Jobs to Move America nearly a decade ago, policies like this help ensure that companies that seek public contracts are evaluated on their commitment to investments in training, community hiring programs, and family sustaining wages and benefits. 

About UAW (uaw.org)

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy. UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations.

About Jobs To Move America  (jobstomoveamerica.org)

Jobs to Move America is a strategic organizing and policy center that works to transform public spending and corporate behavior using a comprehensive approach that is rooted in racial and economic justice. We seek to advance a fair and prosperous economy with good jobs and healthier communities for all.

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Contact Information

Jonah Furman

Feldman Strategies, team@feldmanstrategies.com