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Latest News - March 2010

March 29, 2010
UAW Membership Down During Tough 2009 for Autos
Source: Associated Press

The membership of the United Auto Workers fell sharply in 2009 as automakers and parts suppliers made deep cuts in their labor forces during one the most tumultuous years ever for the auto industry.

The union reported 355,191 members at the end of the year, according to a filing Monday with the Department of Labor. That was off from 431,037 members at the close of 2008, a figure that represented one of the lowest union memberships since World War II.

The bulk of UAW workers are employed by Detroit's large auto manufacturers such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Chrysler and the companies that supply parts for vehicles.

Those companies contracted in 2009 as auto sales fell dramatically. Two of Detroit's Big Three — GM and Chrysler — filed for bankruptcy, closed plants and pared back their brands as part of their restructuring plans. In total, the auto sector lost about 125,000 jobs during 2009, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

However, auto sales began to pick up somewhat late in the year, and some companies like GM have said they plan to bring back small numbers of laid-off workers to help meet growing demand from car buyers.

A spokeswoman for the UAW did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The union's membership peaked in 1979 at 1.5 million workers.

The value of UAW's assets dipped by about $70 million to $1.13 billion, while its receipts fell by nearly $30 million to $277 million.


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