The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers , is a labor union which represents workers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and formerly in Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations in the 1930s, the UAW grew rapidly from 1936 to the 1950s. Under the leadership of Walter Reuther it played a major role in the liberal wing of the Democratic party, including the civil rights and anti-Communist movements. The UAW was especially known for gaining high wages and pensions for the auto workers, but it was unable to unionize auto plants built by foreign-based car-makers in the South after 1970s, and went into a steady decline in membership.
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