38TH CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION • JULY 25-28 DETROIT, MICHIGAN
Welcome to the 38th Constitutional Convention in Detroit
As you get ready to attend the 38th UAW Constitutional Convention at Huntington Place (formerly TCF), there will be time for union business and time to get acquainted with the Motor City, one of the most union-friendly cities in the United States, in your downtime.
Detroit is ready for you. There are many great new restaurants joining some old favorites. There are UAW-represented casinos within walking distance of the convention center and downtown hotels. Major League baseball is at Comerica Park (on the People Mover line). Diego Rivera’s Detroit industry murals are a must-see at the Detroit Institute of Art. And there’s much more. This city has been a center of revitalization and reinvention that even a worldwide pandemic couldn’t stop.
Detroit, of course, is the home of the International UAW, with its headquarters three miles east of the convention center on Jefferson Street. While a fire seriously damaged the iconic building in 2019, it is just about ready for occupancy after a massive renovation.
Most of Detroit is located in UAW Region 1, which covers the east side of Detroit, several nearby counties and parts of Ontario, Canada, just beyond the Detroit River.
Region 1A represents part of Detroit, plus what is commonly called “Downriver’’ and adjacent counties.
From Regions 1 and 1A UAW members work in a variety of workplaces.
The Detroit area is also home to the three U.S.-based automakers including General Motors, with its headquarters just a short walk away from the convention center (or a short ride away from the convention on the People Mover); Ford Motor Co., with its headquarters in nearby Dearborn; and Stellantis a few miles north of the city in Auburn Hills. While those three automakers employ tens of thousands of autoworkers in the metro Detroit area, there are many other UAW-represented workplaces, including the Greektown, Motor City and MGM casinos;. Dearborn’s world-famous Greenfield Village where the artisans are UAW members. Many public workers in city government in Detroit and nearby suburbs share UAW membership with you. Our members also include State of Michigan workers, librarians, and academic workers at Wayne State and Oakland universities.
We work for health care organizations such as Health Alliance Plan, Delta Dental, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. Our members are librarians with the Detroit Public Libraries, and referees and lawyers in nearby Warren. Our ranks include skilled maintenance workers at the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel in Detroit, lawyers with Wayne County’s Friend of the Court, and a host of Technical, Office and Professional workers and other proud UAW members in and around the city.
Yes, lots of UAW solidarity here for you in Detroit. In other words, while you are here you are surrounded by your UAW brothers and sisters who also know that America works best when workers have the right to a job with collective bargaining rights. This week we will honor our mission, exercise our democracy and prepare to leave here and continue the work of improving our collective standard of living for ourselves, our families and our communities.
UAW members, have a great convention!
Todd Dunn, President UAW Local 862: It is my great honor to present this Resolution before the delegates to the 38th UAW Constitutional Convention. Ron Gettelfinger has served our union with honor and integrity through many years of exemplary service. Ron Gettelfinger has inspired and uplifted us all by his gentle spirit, unwavering encouragement and
The 38th UAW Constitutional Convention is upon us, and it is worth a look back to see how the decisions of the past can light the way in the future and continue “Building Our Tomorrow Today.”
“It’s here that the future direction of the union is decided, and union democracy is on full display,” said UAW President Ray Curry.
Here are a few of the noteworthy moments at UAW constitutional conventions:
The Americman Federation of Labor installed Francis Dillon as the UAW’s first president in 1935. But the union became independent of the AFL’s direct control at its first UAW Constitutional Convention, a year later in South Bend, Indiana. Homer Martin was elected president and delegates adopted resolutions supporting farm-labor parties and not Democrats in the 1936 election. The resolution was rescinded after the national Council of Industrial Organizations threatened to withhold organizing funds.
Walter P. Reuther was elected president in 1946. A resolution was introduced to establish a Fair Practices and Anti-Discrimination Department and make its director a member of the IEB. But a weaker version passed. It took another 16 years before Nelson Jack Edwards would become the first African American IEB member.
Resolutions at the 1953 convention pressed companies to pay a guaranteed wage as a hedge against unemployment. Nine years later, President Kennedy told delegates:
“We need a permanent unemployment insurance program so that those who want to work and cannot find a job will not be shifted and living on a marginal income without hope.”
Reuther became a trusted advisor to President Lyndon Johnson, especially on civil rights and social issues. Johnson addressed the 1964 convention:
“I want to read just one sentence from your President’s wire that gave me great strength and encouragement: ‘On behalf of the officers and 1 1/2 million members of the UAW, I am pleased to advise you that in answer to your call, we enlist with you for the duration in the war against poverty.’”
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter addressed delegates:
“Your union was born in struggle, and you’ve won many victories. But you’ve never retreated into complacency or narrow selfishness,” he said.
In 1985, delegates passed a resolution on unfair trade that called on the government to support domestic content, recognize unfair trade practices, and provide trade adjustment assistance. Delegates passed a resolution prohibiting investment in companies doing business in South Africa to force an end to apartheid.
At the 1989 convention, delegates passed a resolution calling for drastic changes in federal labor law that would prohibit lockouts and hiring replacement workers.
Resolutions in following years, like in the years before, would deal with a variety of public policy, societal, and global issues. Delegates at the upcoming convention, will, like their forebears, wrestle with the issues facing working people and act. For the first time, direct elections of UAW officers are expected after this convention. But delegates have plenty on their plates as the future path of the union is decided through debate and votes on resolutions.
“Their attention and study of the issues, debate and conclusions they reach help us build a better tomorrow today,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Frank Stuglin.
Detroit is filled with labor history. Make sure you that you read the Detroit’s Legacy Drives America’s Pride pamphlet information located in the constitutional convention kit. There you will find places to visit while you are in the area.
PRESIDING INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE
38TH CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
The UAW International Executive Board is responsible for carrying out the programs and policies approved by the Constitutional Convention delegates and running the day-to-day operations of the International Union.
The board consists of five officers: the president, secretary-treasurer and three vice presidents — and 8 Regional Directors. All are elected to four-year terms by delegates to the UAW Constitutional Convention.
Secretary – Treasurer
REGISTRATION TIMES ARE:
• Sunday, July 24: 12 pm to 7 pm
• Monday, July 25: 7 am until Convention recessed for the day
• Tuesday, July 26: 8 am until Convention recessed for the day
• Wednesday, July 27: 8 am until Convention recessed for the day
• Thursday, July 28: 8 am until Convention adjourned
Doors open at 8:00 am except on Monday, when they open at 11 am
Convention gavels at 9:00 am except on Monday, when gavel is at 12 pm
American Sign Language interpreters will be available on the floor for voting
delegates and distinguished guests.
Please review the COVID protocols supplied in your kit you received at registration. While masks you received are not mandatory, they are highly recommended especially
to protect our union delegates and workers in the convention center who may have
underlying medical conditions that put them at risk.
If you have the following symptoms and have not verified that you are COVID-free,
please do not attend the Convention proceedings or public events.