The first-ever directly-elected International Executive Board was introduced as they took their places on the stage for Convention proceedings.
Newly-elected President Shawn Fain gave a rousing speech to the hundreds of delegates in attendance, where he outlined a vision for the union moving forward. “We’re here to come together to ready ourselves for the war against our one and only true enemy: multibillion dollar corporations and employers that refuse to give our members their fair share.”
Guest speakers for the day included Michigan Senator Gary Peters, Senator Debbie Stabenow (by video), and Unifor President Lana Payne. Payne spoke about a shared vision with President Fain and the UAW, stating that the two unions will “do great things together” and that she looked forward to “taking on global corporations.”
One of the core issues of debate on Monday was the subject of cost of living adjustments (COLA), with delegates discussing how to approach bargaining strategy for COLA. A number of delegates spoke in favor of including more comprehensive language in the proposed resolution. Other delegates felt that if the language was too specific, it could hamper UAW negotiators at the bargaining table.
As President Fain noted to the delegates, reflecting on the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King: “As Dr. King took stock of the civil rights movement, he noted: ‘Every revolutionary movement has its peaks of united activity and its valleys of debate.’ So brothers and sisters, let us debate the future of our union. Let that debate be spirited and forceful. And let us emerge from this valley of debate to our highest peak yet. And then let us move forward together.”
Day two of the Special Bargaining Convention will convene at 9 a.m.
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