Departments Under the International President


This department trains local union leaders and International staff in grievance handling and arbitration. It also tracks and analyzes arbitration decisions and awards from both UAW and non-UAW cases throughout the U.S. By evaluating a large number of cases, the department is able to spot trends early on, enabling the UAW to meet new challenges in arbitration and seek out the most competent and fair arbitrators for future cases.

National CAP Department

The Community Action Program of the UAW (CAP) is the union’s non-partisan political arm.  Since the 1960s, the National CAP Department coordinates the UAW’s efforts to educate, organize and mobilize the union’s nearly 1 million active and retired UAW members in electing pro-worker candidates.  CAP also works with members to hold our elected representatives accountable during the course of their terms by organizing UAW member lobby visits.

Political endorsements are made by UAW CAP Councils which are comprised of union members who screen candidates.  Candidates receive UAW endorsement on the basis of their voting records and their stand upon issues that affect working Americans.  Over the years, the UAW has endorsed Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

An integral part of National CAP’s strategy is building coalitions with other unions and progressive groups to elect pro-working family candidates at the local, state, and national levels and to promote progressive legislation.

National CAP also coordinates fundraising for UAW-V-CAP, our union’s political action committee. Funded by voluntary contributions from tens of thousands of UAW members and their families, UAW-V-CAP enables us to pool our resources to support pro-working family candidates.

Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Department works closely with the UAW’s Local Union Civil Rights Committees to educate, mobilize, and assist our members in the fight against discrimination and sexual harassment.

The Civil Rights staff and Local Union Civil Rights Committees also play a major role in voter registration and turnout campaigns in many communities.

Community Services

The Community Services Department develops programs and materials to help both working and unemployed UAW members and their families in the areas of health and social services. The department trains local union Community Services Committees and union counselors who can then link members and their families with health, financial, or other problems to the government and private agencies in their community who can best assist them. It also helps UAW locals run Employee Assistance Programs.

The department works closely with the UAW Strike Assistance Department in helping UAW members during a strike and plays an activist role in many agencies, coalitions, and community groups.


The UAW Education Department, the largest in the American union movement, offers a wide array of programs, ranging from training for local union leaders in areas like grievance handling and health and safety to the Summer Scholarship Program for UAW members and their families.

The Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center embodies the UAW’s commitment to education. Each year, thousands of UAW members and their families participate in one of the many education programs and conferences at this unique education center on the shores of Black Lake in northern Michigan.

In addition, the department’ maintains an extensive library of films and videos for local unions.

Governmental and International Affairs

The UAW Governmental and International Affairs staff deal with the White House, cabinet-level departments, including the State Department and the U.S. Trade Representative, and other federal agencies.

On the international front, the department coordinates the UAW’s day-to-day contacts with unions in other countries and organizations such as the International Metalworkers Federation and the International Labor Organization. The department played a central role in the UAW’s support for the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Among its highest priorities is promoting labor and human rights as a basic condition of international trade agreements.

Health and Safety

UAW members can draw upon the resources and expertise of the largest health and safety department of any American union.

The UAW Health and Safety Department educates UAW members, local union leaders, and staff about ways to prevent and eliminate safety and health hazards. It assists other departments and local unions in negotiating contract provisions and in designing and running health and safety programs.

The department also helps the UAW-CAP and Legislative staff deal with Congress and government agencies on health and safety issues.

Information Systems

The Information Systems staff are the UAW’s in-house experts on computer hardware, software, programming, and networking. The department has helped improve communications through computer networking and an e-mail system. It maintains data bases, including member mailing lists.


The UAW Legal Department advises, counsels and represents the International Union around legal issues involved in collective bargaining, organizing, labor relations, health and safety, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, etc.

A good measure of the department’s effectiveness is that the UAW has successfully brought more precedent-setting cases than any other union, including the landmark sex discrimination case, International Union, UAW vs. Johnson Controls.


The Legislative Department represents the interests of workers on Capitol Hill. In addition to lobbying members of Congress, the department works closely with National CAP and other departments to inform, educate and mobilize UAW members around legislative proposals that affect their lives.

Public Relations and Publications

This UAW department coordinates media relations, including news releases, interviews, news conferences and media briefings. The department staff also write, edit and manage Solidarity magazine, produce videos, radio and television ads, and maintain this website.

Through the UAW Local Union Communication Association (UAW-LUCA), the department helps local unions produce newspapers and videos with hands-on education and a news service. In addition, the department staff assist other departments with contract summaries, publications, videos and other projects.


This department assists in collective bargaining by analyzing the employer’s finances and other employers in the same industry, and evaluating contract provisions, such as profit-sharing plans and COLA.

In organizing campaigns, the department gathers and analyzes information such as the employer’s history of dealing with unions, employment, profits, executive compensation, and other trends.

The department also analyzes public policy proposals and recommends initiatives.

The department publishes the bi-monthly Research Bulletin.

Research Library

This UAW library is one of the most extensive in the union movement and is a valuable resource for the entire union. The library’s collection includes books, periodicals, statistical series, and government publications, as well as to the Internet and commercial on-line services.

Retired Workers

The UAW Retired Workers Department coordinates the largest and most progressive program for retired workers in the union movement. The department assists local unions in setting up retiree chapters and sets up Area Councils to serve UAW retirees who have moved to communities without UAW locals. The department helps retired members with a wide range of health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, legal, pension, and related problems.

UAW retirees play a vital role in our union’s political and legislative activities.

Social Security

This UAW department provides professional advice and technical assistance in designing and implementing collectively- bargained benefits, ranging from health, dental, and vision insurance plans, to pensions and 401(k) plans, to life and disability insurance, to supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB) plans and other job and income security protections.

The department also plays a major role in the UAW’s legislative and community action efforts in such areas as health care reform, defending Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and protecting the pensions and savings plans of retired workers.

Members of the department represent the UAW on many private and public commissions and boards that shape and influence laws, policies and practices.