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Mercedes-Benz Exec Implores Workers Ahead Of Union Vote: ‘Give Me A Chance’

The top Mercedes-Benz executive in the U.S. had a not-so-subtle message for workers as they headed to the polls this week to vote in a potentially historic union election.

Federico Kochlowski, the new president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, wrote in a letter to employees at the plant in Vance, Alabama, that the election marked “an important decision about how we work together for years to come.”

“And although I respect everyone’s right to take a position on this matter, I prefer that we work on our future together without anyone else between us,” he wrote, according to a copy obtained by HuffPost.

Kochlowski sounded as though he was pleading with employees near the end of the letter, telling them he was “a person of my word.”

“When I tell you I’m going to do something, you can trust that I will do everything in my power to make it happen,” he wrote. “I hope you’ll give me a chance to do what I came here to do.”

More than 4,000 employees at the plant are voting Monday through Friday this week to determine whether they join the United Auto Workers. The UAW has struggled to unionize manufacturing plants in Alabama, so an election win would mark a major organizing victory.

A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. The letter viewed by HuffPost had been mailed out to an employee last Thursday.

Rick Webster, an employee at the plant and member of the union’s organizing committee, said workers had been pulled into meetings leading up to the vote to hear talking points against the union.

“It’s been nonstop anti-union. We’ve had to go to meetings every day to watch videos or have them read off a piece of paper,” he said. “They’ve spent all this money on all these commercials and

Read more on huffpost.com