UAW President Ray Curry
“As UAW President, I am committed to strengthening our union both at the bargaining table and in our communities. I believe our union is strongest when members are engaged and when we lead with values. I am optimistic about our great union’s future, and it is an honor to lead it at this pivotal time.”
A North Carolina native, Ray Curry was elected President of the UAW on June 28, 2021, by the International Executive Board upon the retirement of UAW President Rory L. Gamble. The President’s Office includes the following departments: Black Lake, Civil and Human Rights, International Affairs, Legislative, National CAP, Michigan CAP, Retired Workers, Public Relations/Strategic Campaigns, Research, Legal, Social Security, Education, Health and Safety, Veterans, Arbitration and Sourcing, Heavy Truck/Aerospace/General Dynamics and Skilled Trades and EV/Transnational Bargaining, Organizing (IPS, EV, Transnational, Assembly, Higher Ed and EV-Joint Ventures). The President also has oversight over administrative departments such as Human Resources, Information Technology Systems, Travel, Compliance, Appeals, Bylaws, and Policy, Administrative Letters and Security.
President Curry became a UAW member in July 1992, when he was hired as a truck assembler at Freightliner Trucks in Mount Holly, NC, (now Daimler Trucks, NA) after serving in the U.S. Army for three years on active duty and five years in the U.S. Army Reserve. Shortly after joining UAW Local 5285, he became active in the local’s Civil Rights Standing Committee. “I have always believed that it is a duty to make change happen. My years on that standing committee gave me both a deep understanding of our great union as well as the awareness of what can happen when we work together.”
Starting in 1998, Curry was elected to serve in numerous leadership positions both within his local union and Region 8. He also worked as a member organizer on the Freightliner organizing drives in Cleveland, Gastonia and High Point, NC. “The experience of talking to workers fighting for justice on the job has stayed with me. Their stories of struggle and the success they achieved when they organized reminds me that nothing is freely given and that we must constantly organize to build solidarity.”
UAW President Emeritus Ron Gettelfinger appointed Curry to the International Staff in 2004, where he serviced UAW contracts in aerospace, automotive (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors facilities), heavy truck, and numerous independent parts supplier locations in Alabama and Tennessee. He was appointed Region 8 Assistant Director by then-Region 8 Director Gary Casteel in 2010. Four years later, he was elected Director of UAW Region 8.
Organizing was a key priority of Region 8 under Curry’s leadership. Aside from being instrumental in securing new labor agreements within various represented sectors of UAW membership, Region 8 successfully organized its first gaming bargaining unit as part of a coalition of four other unions to represent the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, MD in 2015. Three years later, the region also won an election for representation at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD, bringing 1,250 new members into the union.
In June 2018, Curry was elected UAW Secretary-Treasurer at the 37th Constitutional Convention. In this role, he was instrumental in the implementation of broad financial ethics reforms and oversight as part of the UAW’s Ethics Reforms Initiative. As UAW President, Curry continues his commitment to transparency and reform within the UAW. “Restoring member confidence in our union is a high priority. We will continue to work with the monitor to develop and implement more checks and balances for our union.”
A longtime grassroots activist, Curry is a Gold Life member of the NAACP, and member of the national NAACP Board of Directors. As a result of his demonstrated commitment to social justice, Curry is the recipient of many awards including the A. Philip Randolph Leon Lynch Lifetime Achievement Award, the Tennessee State AFL-CIO Presidential Award, the 2021 Michigan Chronicle Man of The Year, the 2022 Michigan APALA Vanguard Award and the National Action Network MLK Labor Leader of the Year Award for 2023. Additionally, he is a member of Unique Masonic Lodge, Charlotte Consistory, and Rameses Temple.
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.S. in Business Administration / Finance. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Alabama.