United Auto Workers Logo

The United Auto Workers has seen an increase in membership for the second straight year, according to Bloomberg. Last year, the union saw its ranks grow by 1.1 percent to 380,719 members, thanks in part to increased hiring by domestic automakers. In 2010, the UAW grew by six percent, but today's total is still a fraction of the 1.5 million members the union boasted in 1979. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are expected to hire around 14,750 union workers by 2015, according to the report. That number is likely far below what the UAW will need to be able to secure significant bargaining leverage.

To that end, the UAW has made it clear that organizing a foreign-owned manufacturing facility is crucial to its survival. UAW president Bob King vowed to unionize one such plant last year but failed to do so. Now the UAW is reportedly handing out authorization cards at the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Workers there have reportedly had mixed-reactions to the prospect of unionization.