The United Auto Workers may oppose a union-run health fund unless U.S. carmakers pressure Denso Corp. to remain neutral while the UAW tries to organize the Japanese auto-parts maker, people with knowledge of the strategy said.
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Denso is Japan’s largest auto-parts company and a supplier to all three U.S. automakers as well as Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota, helped by lower-cost nonunion U.S. plants, has overtaken Ford as the second-biggest automaker in the U.S. The Japanese company owns 23 percent of Denso.
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Denso has 6,862 employees in Michigan, Tennessee, Arkansas, California, Virginia and South Carolina, Denso spokeswoman Marlene Goldsmith said. None belongs to unions.
Denso has a target on its head and Big Labor has them in their sights.
“For the survival of the union, they have to start organizing the Toyota system in North America,” said Sean McAlinden, an analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Right at the head of the line is Denso.”