Labor@Wayne hosts labor forum honoring UAW president Dennis Williams

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Marick F. Masters, director of Labor@Wayne at Wayne State University, is pleased to announce that Labor@Wayne will honor Dennis Williams, president of the UAW International Union, at the sixth annual Labor Leaders on Labor Forum on April 28. Williams will give a keynote speech titled “The State of Labor and the Auto Industry” from 1:15 to 2 p.m. at Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium.  The event is free and open to the public.

Each year, Labor@Wayne honors American labor leaders for their pioneering work in fighting for worker rights and social and economic justice. Williams has served the UAW for almost 40 years, joining Local 806 at J.I. Case in 1977 as a salvage welder. At Local 806, he was eventually elected to the bargaining committee and then served as chairman.

Williams was appointed as an international representative in 1988 and assigned to the National Organizing Department. In 2001, he was elected director of UAW Region 4. In 2010, he was elected as the UAW’s secretary of treasury, and was part of developing the union’s long-term strategy. In 2014, Williams was elected president of the UAW.  A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he has a lifelong record of service in fighting for the cause of justice and championing drives to organize workers, negotiate better contracts and bring jobs to the United States. He exemplified this tradition in the organization’s 2015 contract negotiations and continues fighting to keep and grow jobs in America.

“Labor@Wayne is pleased to honor Dennis Wiliams, who leads the UAW, which has contributed greatly to the country, state, region, and Wayne State University,” said Masters. “At Wayne State, the UAW is responsible for the Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues and the Reuther Library. We have worked with Dennis Williams, the UAW, and the Detroit 3 collaboratively to help promote opportunity and growth in the university and region.”

Previous Labor@Wayne honorees include James Hoffa (general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters), Richard Trumka (president of the AFL-CIO), Mary Kay Henry (president of the Service Employees International Union), Joseph Hansen (former president of the United Food and Commercial Workers) and Leo Gerard (president of the United Steelworkers).

Labor@Wayne includes the Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues, the Labor Studies Center, the master of arts in employment and labor relations, and the undergraduate major in employment and labor relations. For more information, contact Marick F. Masters at, by phone at 313-577-5358 or at the Walter P. Reuther Library, 5401 Cass Avenue, Detroit.

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