UAW plans ‘Buy American’ ad campaign

Melissa Burden, The Detroit News

The United Auto Workers is planning a “Buy American” advertising campaign with a competition for ideas with the public and UAW members around Labor Day.

The campaign, which could include educating Americans on where cars are built, likely would include a mix of radio, TV and social media posts, UAW President Dennis Williams said in a meeting Thursday with journalists in Detroit.

Williams in February initially talked about possibly launching a campaign to support American-made products and manufacturing.

The union also wants to see a new North American Free Trade Agreement that balances trade and includes a boost in wages for Mexican workers. Williams said he has met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross about the union’s thoughts on NAFTA.

He said the union has been meeting with automakers to try to get more products for plants that have lost shifts, including car plants. He said automakers would have “a problem” with the UAW if they opted to close a plant in the U.S. while importing vehicles from other countries, including Mexico.

The union is watching Michigan’s governors race for 2018. It held a meeting earlier this week to begin to look at which candidates it may support.

Staff Writer Jim Lynch contributed.