Category: 2018 Constitutional Convention

UAW President Gary Jones to convention delegates: We will embrace those values that make us strong

Newly elected UAW President Gary Jones addressed delegates on the closing day of the convention with a message of facing challenges with a clear vision, drawing from the strengths of the past and moving forward with “values that embrace education, health care, time for families, fraternity, a fair living wage and equality for all.” Jones expressed gratitude for the support of his family, staff, mentors, the International Executive Board, supporters and UAW members who paved the way for the path that led to his inauguration today as the union’s new leader. And, his values, he explained, are a reflection of ... Read more

Gary Jones Elected Next UAW President

Today, UAW delegates from across the country came together, electing Gary Jones to be the next President of the UAW International Union. Jones currently serves as Director of UAW Region 5, and hails from O’Fallon, Missouri. Elected on the same slate were incoming Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, current Vice Presidents Cindy Estrada and Terry Dittes, and incoming Vice President Rory Gamble. The new officers will be sworn in on Thursday, closing out the 37th Constitutional Convention.

Gretchen Whitmer: Michiganders need democracy restored

Michigan gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer wants UAW members to know that she “is excited to work with new President Gary Jones, and we have a lot of work to do.” That was her message to delegates Thursday on the closing day of the 37th Constitutional Convention. A lifetime Michigander, Whitmer has been on the front lines fighting for working people in Michigan for a long time. In 2012 when Rick Snyder, the current governor, locked union members, community activists and supporters out of the state Capitol building in Lansing to pass “right to work” legislation, she opened the doors of ... Read more

Rev. Dr. William Barber: There is right and wrong, and we are on the side of right

The Rev. Dr. William Barber, the fiery preacher and leader of the Poor People’s Campaign, brought delegates to their feet with a message about race, politics, inequality and how America’s “rejected” and disadvantaged can turn the tables and take this country back. Rev. Barber explained that failed bureaucracies that leave communities with poisoned water, states that suppress voting rights and politics that play to issues that divide Americans are detrimental to our democracy and must be stopped. Racism. Gender discrimination. Militarism. Those are issues the powerful use to divide allies. Those are issues that caused supporters to turn against the ... Read more

James Hoffa: We have big battles ahead, but we stand united

President of the Teamsters union and longtime UAW friend James P. Hoffa greeted convention delegates Tuesday with a reminder of the long history the two organizations share and a pledge to continuing standing with the UAW in years to come. “You know this is a special moment because you think back 60 or 70 years ago and the people who were the founders of the labor movement here in Michigan were two guys, one named Walter Reuther and the other Jimmy Hoffa. Together they made history,” Hoffa told delegates. “Today we build on their accomplishments. We can all be proud ... Read more

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson tells delegates stakes are high in the fight for labor rights

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, encouraged UAW members to stay strong in the face of legislative attacks on labor and working families, “what is at stake for us is much more important than we could ever imagine.” The right to collectively bargain, Johnson said, is something that we all hold sacred and something that created and cemented a bond between the UAW and the NAACP for more than 75 years. “Individually we cannot lose sight of why we were created and why we exist,“ Johnson said. The loss of civility in this country has created space for things to ... Read more

Governor of Montana Steve Bullock: when workers and unions continue to fight, they can win

Steve Bullock, Montana’s second-term governor and former attorney general, helped UAW convention delegates connect the dots between the union experience in Montana and Michigan. He shared a story from 1917 about 168 miners who died in the worst hard-rock mining disaster in the United States at the Granite Mountain mine. The tragedy led miners to fight for more protections and safer working conditions. In later years, Detroit auto workers, like the Montana miners, were fighting for good jobs and safe pay. As those fights ramped up all over the country, workers were banding together, bringing attention to poor working conditions ... Read more

Dennis Williams: Our Union is strong, our members united

With a strong voice and heartfelt delivery, UAW President Dennis Williams took the podium at the 37th Constitutional Convention and talked about the promises he made to members four years ago as the union’s newly elected president. “Four years later, I am proud to report to you that we have achieved our goals,” Williams said. “The bottom line is the UAW is in better shape today than it was four years ago.” In his farewell remarks to UAW delegates, he told delegates that in his four years as president, the union has had three straight years of balanced budgets, a ... Read more

Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony: Let’s leverage our collective power

In a robust speech, Detroit NAACP president Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony praised the union on its history of social activism and partnering with others including civil rights groups in the fight for social and economic justice. Rev. Anthony, who proudly explained he is a proud honorary member of UAW Local 600, talked about the works and words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and longtime UAW President Walter Reuther and their continuing relevance. Together, unions and groups like the NAACP have enormous power, he said, but that power must be leveraged to its full extent. “Everybody must come to ... Read more

Heather McGhee: No One Fights Alone

Social activist Heather McGhee says sowing dissention based on our differences is a tactic as old as the nation itself. Our job, McGhee said, is to focus on our common interests such as equal opportunity, affordable health care and decent jobs, while at the same time shine a light on the ultra-wealthy and corporations that seek to divide us for their own greedy purposes. McGhee, president of Demos, a public policy organization working for equality in America, received the Owen Bieber Social Justice Award from UAW President Dennis Williams on opening day of the 37th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit. ... Read more