DETROIT (Reuters) - Membership in the United Auto Workers union rose by more than 12,000 people to 403,466 in 2014, the fifth consecutive year of small gains for the American union, according to an annual filing with the U.S. Department of Labor.
News of the 3 percent increase in UAW membership comes in a year when the union will begin talks for new labor contracts with General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Those talks are due to begin this summer and the current contracts are due to expire in mid-September.
Since hitting a low of 355,191 in 2009, UAW membership has risen 13.6 percent.
The union cited job gains at Ford and GM due to additional work shifts at and investments in existing U.S. plants. It also credited organizing gains in the gaming and auto supplier sectors as well as higher education.
The UAW also disclosed that its net assets slipped 1.1 percent last year to $971.5 million, according to the filing. The union said in a statement that recent restructuring has brought it "closer to a balanced budget for the first time in years."
(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Bernie Woodall in Detroit; Editing by Christian Plumb)