One week from today, Mercedes-Benz employees will be casting their vote for or against a union. Between now and then groups for and against will be applying a full-court press to influence the vote.

Yesterday employees for joining the United Auto Workers held a rally with several progressive organizations and a former Crimson Tide football player at the Christian Community Church of Tuscaloosa. Former Crimson Tide and NFL cornerback Antonio Langham, hero of the first SEC Championship Game and a member of the NFL Players Association since the 1990s, spoke to union backers.

Langham credited collective bargaining for better healthcare for players.

The former Tide star was joined by representatives from progressive organizations like More Perfect Union and the Poor People’s Campaign.

Pamela Foster, a professor of community medicine at UA, helped represent the Poor People’s Campaign at the event. She compared the UAW’s attempt to organize southern auto plants with organizing minorities in the civil rights struggle. “This is the area of the country where slavery was, where there was much resistance to organizing for minority groups.”

Mercedes Benz USI workers opposed to the union are not sitting idly by. They have developed a website to counter claims by UAW officials and pro-union employees.

According to the MBUSI Workers Information Committee, the website was developed to, “…educate employees about the radical and self-serving agenda of the UAW.”  They say they want to spread the word that the Union is not needed at Mercedes.

The website claims “large numbers” of Mercedes employees are against the union but are afraid to speak up publicly because of the union’s aggressiveness. They also say salaries at the Vance plant and Woodstock battery facility are more than competitive with union wages that take out money for dues.

The MBUSI Workers' Information Committee also has social media sites on Facebook and YouTube.

Many political leaders in Alabama have been adamantly against the union organizing effort because they claim the union will make it more difficult to recruit future business and industry to the state and will wreck Alabama’s successful economic model.

The Mercedes Benz union vote will run May 13th through the 17th.

More From 95.3 The Bear