After a successful organising drive (union membership recruitment campaign) at Johnson Controls, the United Auto Workers is seeking a similar deal with Ontario-based Intier Automotive, the only major vehicle interiors company without broad union representation at its US plants, according to US reports.

Intier, part of Magna International, operates 15 plants and employs 5,000 workers in the US while the UAW has around 700,000 members, way down on the 1.5 million of the 1970s. The union has in recent times extended its reach to represent workers in non-automotive industries.

The reports say the latest move follows a brief UAW strike in June at JCI, after which the Milwaukee-based supplier gave the UAW a chance to unionise up to 8,000 of its workers in 26 plants that supply the Big Three.

Now, the reports say, senior officials from the union and Intier have been meeting over the past few months, discussing plans to allow the union to conduct organising drives at Intier plants.

The reports say an agreement would also mark the warming of relations between unions and Intier’s Magna parent company in Aurora, Ontario.

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In past years, Magna frustrated union officials by successfully rebuffing several recruiting drives by the UAW and the Canadian Auto Workers.

But the unions on both sides of the border have been making progress at the union-free supplier, according to CAW officials.

“We now have two Magna operations in Canada (within the past year), and have a collective bargaining agreement with them,” CAW president Buzz Hargrove, reportedly said.

“We’re confident we can make more progress with them.”