Flint Truck and AC Spark Plug Veteran to Lead UAW in 73 MI Counties
FLINT – Michigan Delegates from UAW locals in 73 counties met in Flint today to select a successor to long-time Regional Director Gerald Kariem, who became a UAW Vice President in January.
Delegates selected Steve Dawes, a veteran spot welder from the Flint Assembly Plant with a long history of service to the union. Dawes has been an Assistant Director since 2010 and helped steer the merger between Regions 1C and 1D in 2014.
“Brother Dawes brings to the table vast experience in contract negotiations and a deep understanding of the region,” said Rory Gamble, President of the UAW. “His work with Vice President Kariem to merge the cultures of both Region 1C and 1D helped create a strong, vibrant, combined Region. He brings to the table, experience, knowledge and a deep sense of history.”
In fact, Dawes played a major role in the development, construction, and upkeep of the Sit-Down Memorial located at the Flint office. “Every time I pull into the Regional Office, I have a living reminder of the sacrifice, solidarity, tenacity and guts that impacts our contracts and our standard of living today,” said Dawes. “It is an honor to be elected, but it is especially an honor to be a leader of this historic region where the Flint sit-down strike built the foundation of America’s middle class. It is a legacy and responsibility we will bring to every contract negotiation.”
Region 1D covers 73 Michigan counties representing Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the central, western, and northern portions of the Lower Peninsula.
Dawes began his career in 1978 at the Flint Truck Assembly Plant as a spot welder, a job he worked at until he was hired on as an apprentice toolmaker at AC Spark Plug in 1984. He was a dedicated member of UAW Local 651 and was elected as a Skilled Trades Committeeperson in 1989.
In 1999, he was elected UAW Local 651 vice president and delegate to the UAW Constitutional Convention. Shortly into his term of vice president, Dawes took over as UAW Local 651 president. He was re-elected as president in 2002.
In 2004, he was appointed to the Region 1C International staff by UAW President Ron Gettelfinger at the request of Region 1C Director Bob Roth. He was assigned as a servicing representative in the Flint and Lansing areas.
He and his wife Shane have been blessed with four children, Lindsey, Zach, Tabatha and Taylor, as well as two little bundles of joy, Gavin and Rylee.
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