After standing strong on the picket line for nearly a month, UAW Local 174 members at Constellium Automotive in Van Buren Charter Township, MI, have ratified a new contract.

The agreement provides improved contractual language, including a stronger grievance procedure and additional holidays, while also securing strong pay increases for workers.

“These contract negotiations were very difficult,” said Region 1A Director, Laura Dickerson. “The company was unwilling to work with us and repeatedly cancelled negotiating sessions. Despite this, our members stood together and forced Constellium to offer them a contract that reflects their immense value to the company.”

Local 174 members returned to work this Monday.

Constellium Van Buren supplies parts for the Ford F-150, F-150 Lightning, Explorer and Super Duty at six UAW-represented Ford Assembly plants.



PLYMOUTH, MI — Nearly 200 workers at Webasto Roof Systems have voted to join UAW Local 3000, in the latest organizing victory for the union.

The workers, who make convertible tops for the Mustang, Jeep, Bronco, and Corvette, launched their organizing drive in November, and faced an intense anti-union campaign from management.

“We’re doing this for our coworkers,” said Sheron Johnson, a production worker at Webasto. “People have been mistreated, not getting paid, having their schedules changed with no notice. We want to leave this place better for the next generation.”

Gustavo Vasquez has worked at Webasto for 17 years. “We used to have our voices heard at Webasto, that’s all we want,” Vasquez said. “To be treated as an asset to the company and not just a number.”

“These brave workers stuck together in the face of fierce opposition from the company,” said UAW Local 3000 President Steve Gonzales. “As they move from this organizing victory to the fight for a first contract, we’ve got their back 100 percent.”

“Over and over, we’re seeing workers across the auto supply chain come together in a common cause for justice on the job,” said UAW Region 1A Director Laura Dickerson. “Congratulations to our newest members at Webasto, and welcome to the UAW Region 1A family!”

VAN BUREN CHARTER TOWNSHIP, MI – As of midnight on the morning of May 17th,160 workers at Constellium Automotive are on strike, after weeks of the company refusing to bargain in good faith. The plant supplies parts for the Ford F-150, F-150 Lightning, Explorer and Super Duty at six UAW-represented Ford Assembly plants,

The workers, members of UAW Local 174, are seeking to address serious health and safety issues, along with unfair discipline from management.

“Our negotiating team has met with the company nine times since April 18th,” UAW Region 1A Director Laura Dickerson said. “And on every single occasion, Constellium has made it very clear they have zero interest in taking our members’ proposals seriously. This is a prime example of employer arrogance forcing the hand of its workforce.”

The UAW has filed unfair labor practice charges against the company for bargaining in bad faith and expects to resume negotiations this week.

LUCA Helps Us Stay in the Know

Danita Brantley accepts a LUCA Award
Local 900’s Danita Brantley, with her son, Kyle, also of Local 900, was honored for inspiring and mentoring other union
Photo by Don Lehman, Local 249

When local UAW members want to know what’s happening in their local and what the issues are that bring them together — like who the best candidate for workers is in the upcoming election — there’s no one they trust more than their union local. The UAW members who make that communication happen work tirelessly, usually on their own time, to bring it to their union sisters and brothers. Using all the platforms available to them such as social media, photography, video, publications, websites, email, texting and more, the UAW-Local Union Communications Association (LUCA) on Aug. 25 honored those hardworking communicators for a job well done over the past year.

The UAW-LUCA communicators were recognized at their regular conference at the UAW Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center (Black Lake) in Onaway, Michigan, with awards for winners of LUCA’s Excellence in Communications Contests.

Winning the Alfred E. “Pops” Nudi Spirit Award contest in the Unsung Hero category, for inspiring and mentoring other union members for several years, was Local 900’s Danita Brantley. Brantley has been involved with her local for 19 years, is the local’s newsletter editor and was nominated for actions over the years that demonstrate “hope and solidarity for the future.” Local 685 Mike Rankert was this year’s Pops Nudi Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, having been involved in several leadership positions at his local, including editor and website administrator, for decades. He’s also a longtime LUCA member, taking his first trip to Black Lake in 1972.

Other first place contest winners Aug. 25 included Local 249 for Best Essay or Issue Article and Best Union Involvement Story in the Writing contest, and for General Excellence for a Publication Designed by the Local in the Publications contest. Local 412 was the winner of the Publication contest’s General Excellence for a Publication Designed by a Vendor. Local 933 took first place for Best Front Page Designed by a Local, and Local 598 took the top place for Best Front Page Designed by a Vendor, also in the Publications contest.

In the Website contest, the Best SolidWeb website award was given to Local 578, and Local 1981 received top honors for the Best non-SolidWeb website category. Local 602 took first place for Best Social Media in the Social Media contest, and Region 1A Retiree News was the winner of the Photography contest’s Best Photo category. Local 685’s Retiree Chapter came in first in the Video contest’s Best Video category.

There were many other award winners that night at Black Lake, but all the LUCA communicators there were winners in the UAW’s book. Congratulations to all!

Joan Silvi