A senior UAW official on Wednesday reportedly said he is confident the union will organise [‘unionise’] DaimlerChrysler’s assembly plant in Vance, Alabama, within the next year, Automotive News said.

According to the trade newspaper, UAW DaimlerChrysler department vice president Nate Gooden said the union hopes to win DC’s support to unionise 2,000 plant workers.

“Vance will be organised very, very soon – in less than a year,” Gooden reportedly said. “It will be a little difficult, but I think (DaimlerChrysler) will agree to it.”

Automotive News said Gooden is pressing DaimlerChrysler to allow a “card check” at Vance which would allow the UAW to skip an organising election if more than half of the plant’s hourly workers sign cards in support of the union.

The paper said DaimlerChrysler has resisted such proposals in the past, citing its “neutrality policy,” which requires elections.

Automotive News said that Chrysler‘s senior vice president of employee relations, John Franciosi, declined comment and added that a a decision on the issue would have to be made by senior DaimlerChrysler executives.

Gooden made his comments after a ceremony to mark the start of contract talks between the UAW and Detroit’s Big Three. Industry observers have said that, while the union is unlikely to concede health and pension benefit cuts, it may agree to allow some plant closures – banned under the current contracts which expire in September – in return for the opportunity to organise some factories that are currently non-union, such as the DC plant in Alabama.