United Auto Workers

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Labor unions are hoping to gain back some of the power they've lost in Indiana in recent decades by getting out the vote for state and local Democrats in November.

But with a distracting presidential campaign backdrop and an uphill battle to reform state labor policies, organizers are facing a lot of obstacles.

At a United Auto Workers training center in Kokomo, Terri Mutran sits at a laptop, calling members to tell them who the UAW and other unions have endorsed in Indiana.

United Auto Workers Leadership Campaigns For Bayh

Oct 3, 2016
Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The head of the United Auto Workers was in Indiana on Monday, urging union members to vote for Democratic Senate candidate Evan Bayh.

His tour included a stop in Kokomo, where big Chrysler and GM plants make the UAW local the largest in Indiana and Ohio, with around 7,000 members.

UAW international president Dennis Williams told a group of them he hasn't always agreed with Evan Bayh. But he said this year, Bayh's pro-labor history sets him apart -- Bayh passed collective bargaining as Indiana governor in the 1980s.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The United Auto Workers union is criticizing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Young for his past comments on the auto industry bailout.

UAW officials gathered in three union halls around the state Thursday to publicly attack Young.

The events coincide with a new ad from the Evan Bayh campaign. Both criticize Young for comments he made during his first congressional run in 2010, calling the federal auto industry bailout a “waste.”