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UAW Membership Gains 2.3% as U.S. Automakers Boost Positions

March 29 (Bloomberg) -- The United Auto Workers membership rose 2.3 percent in 2013 to 391,415, the fourth consecutive gain, as U.S. automakers added employees amid rising sales.

The UAW disclosed the figure, the largest for the union since its membership totaled 431,037 in 2008, in an e-mailed statement today that cited a union filing with the U.S. Labor Department. The union added 8,902 members from 382,513 in 2012.

U.S. auto sales increased 7.6 percent in 2013 to 15.6 million, and No. 2 Ford Motor Co. gained the most market share, rising to 15.9 percent from 15.5 percent. General Motors Co. sales fell 6.3 percent in December, leaving the Detroit-based automaker with a 7.3 percent gain for the year and loss of one-twentieth of a point of market share.

The UAW’s peak membership was 1.5 million members in 1979.

The union, based in Detroit, is seeking to rebuild membership by trying to organize workers at the U.S. factories of Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. The UAW previously failed to convince workers to join the union at Nissan as well as the U.S. factories of Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Hart in Washington at dahart@bloomberg.net; Keith Naughton in Detroit at knaughton3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier at swier@bloomberg.net Joe Sabo

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