Supporters wave indicators throughout an tackle on the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 5, 2012 on the second day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
Mladin Antonov | AFP | Getty Images
DETROIT – United Auto Workers members have ousted their president within the union’s first direct election, ushering in a brand new period for the distinguished organized labor group forward of negotiations later this 12 months with the Detroit automakers.
The union’s new chief can be Shawn Fain, a member of the “UAW Members United” reform group and native chief for a Stellantis components plant in Indiana. He got here out forward in a runoff election by a whole lot of votes over incumbent Ray Curry, who was appointed president by union leaders in 2021.
Fain, in a press release Saturday, thanked UAW members who voted within the election. He additionally hailed the outcomes as a historic change in course for the embattled union, which he says will take a “more aggressive approach” with its employers.
“This election was not just a race between two candidates, it was a referendum on the direction of the UAW. For too long, the UAW has been controlled by leadership with a top-down, company union philosophy who have been unwilling to confront management, and as a result, we’ve seen nothing but concessions, corruption, and plant closures,” Fain stated.
Curry, who beforehand protested the slim election outcomes, stated in a press release that Fain can be sworn in on Sunday and that he’s “committed to ensuring that this transition is smooth and without disruptions.”
“I want to express my deep gratitude to all UAW staff, clerical support, leaders and most of all, our union’s active and retired members for the many years of support and solidarity. It has been the honor of my life to serve our great union,” Curry stated.
More than 141,500 ballots have been forged within the runoff election that additionally included two different board positions, a 33% enhance from final 12 months’s direct election wherein neither of the presidential candidates acquired 50% or extra of the votes.
The election was overseen by a federal monitor, who confirmed the outcomes Saturday night time. The outcomes had been delayed a number of weeks as a consequence of a run-off election in addition to the shut last depend.
Shawn Fain, candidate for UAW president, is in a run-off election with incumbent Ray Curry for the union’s highest-ranking place.
Jim West for UAW Members United
Fain’s election provides to the UAW’s largest upheaval in management in many years, as a majority of the union’ s International Executive Board can be made up of first-time administrators who should not a part of the “Administration Caucus” that has managed the union for greater than 70 years.
Fain and different members of his management slate ran on the promise of “No corruption. No concessions. No tiers.” The final being a reference to a tiered pay system carried out by the automakers throughout latest negotiations that members have requested to be eliminated.
The shuffle follows a yearslong federal investigation that uncovered systemic corruption involving bribery, embezzlement, and different crimes among the many prime ranks of the UAW.
Thirteen UAW officers have been convicted as a part of the probe, together with two previous presidents. As a part of a settlement with the union in late 2020, a federal monitor was appointed to supervise the union and the group held a direct election the place every member has a vote, taking out a weighted delegate course of.
For traders, UAW negotiations with the Detroit automakers are usually a short-term headwind each 4 years that end in larger prices. But this 12 months’s negotiations are anticipated to be among the many most contentious and essential in latest reminiscence.
Fain has stated the union will search profit features for members, advocating for the return of a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, in addition to raises and job safety.
The change within the UAW comes in opposition to the backdrop of a broader organized labor motion throughout the nation, a pro-union president and an business within the transition to all-electric automobiles.