Focus on Building, Growing and Strengthening Membership
With a focus on building, growing, and strengthening membership, the UAW International Executive Board (IEB), on Monday June 28, unanimously elected Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry to serve as UAW President upon the retirement of Rory L. Gamble for the remainder of the current term, which ends in June 2022 at the 38th Constitutional Convention.
Curry, 55, will officially assume the office of President on July 1, 2021.
“It is a great honor for me to serve this historic union and the more than 1 million active and retired members,” Curry said. “I am so proud of our UAW sisters and brothers who work every day to better not just their own lives, but the lives of their neighbors and communities. As president, I pledge to continue to build upon our commitment to a culture of transparency, reforms and checks and balances. I want to also say that I will be embracing the model that has been set forth by my brother and friend, Rory L. Gamble, to be accessible and accountable to our members, to keep them informed and engaged. Rory has led us through the storm, and we are so grateful for his leadership.”
Curry added, “Rory and I are absolutely committed to making this a smooth, transparent transition for our membership. And we are both dedicated to the reforms that we have put in place for the UAW. I could not be prouder of our union and what I know we will be able to accomplish together in the coming years.”
Under Curry, the UAW implemented comprehensive top-to-bottom financial ethics reforms including implementation of internal and external auditing as well as enhanced reporting procedures and a complete review of financial systems and checks and balances while serving as Secretary-Treasurer, the union’s chief financial officer.
Within his bargaining sector assignments, the members of UAW-Heavy Truck and UAW-General Dynamics sectors have enjoyed financial gains and increased job security provisions during recently negotiated contracts while the members of the Agricultural Implement sector have continued to enforce current contractual terms along with health and safety provisions in their workplace to protect their memberships during the global pandemic as they prepare for the upcoming rounds of negotiations in 2021-2023.
“The elected leadership of the entire International Executive Board has been tasked to build, grow and strengthen our union and take the next exciting steps for our members and the working men and women of this nation,” said Curry. “There is much to be done. It is time to put our nose to the grindstone in Solidarity and lead this union into a future of new possibilities.”
Curry stressed that there are significant challenges ahead but underscored that the union is in a strong position to meet them.
“Industry is at a crossroads right now with massive changes in new innovative technologies. It will be up to us to navigate through this monumental shift in mobility and manufacturing,” he said. “And certainly, our priority — and my priority — is to grow our membership across all sectors, and new sectors, including gaming, higher education, public health, parts suppliers and auto transnationals. Whether in Charleston, South Carolina, Alabama, New York, or California, these workers and educators all deserve a voice in the workplace, and it is our duty to make that happen.”
A North Carolina native, Curry worked as an assembler at Freightliner Trucks in Mount Holly, North Carolina before being hired to the UAW staff in 2004 and has served on the UAW IEB since 2014, when he was elected Regional Director of UAW Region 8. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 2018 and also directs the Heavy Truck, General Dynamics, and Agricultural Implementation Departments.
Curry is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a B.S. in Business Administration/Finance and an MBA from the University of Alabama.
He served three years on active duty in the U.S. Army and five years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Ray Curry Bio
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. Gamble will serve as president through June 30, 2021. Curry will officially assume the office of president on July 1, 2021, and will serve out the remainder of the term until June 2022. Elected UAW Secretary-Treasurer at the 37th Constitutional Convention in June 2018, Curry was instrumental in the implementation of broad financial ethics reforms and oversight as part of the UAW’s Ethics Reforms Initiative.
Curry was elected Director of UAW Region 8 in June 2014 at the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit after having served four years as the region’s assistant director.
As Region 8 director, Curry was instrumental in securing new labor agreements with various parts suppliers. In July 2015, under his leadership, the region successfully organized the first gaming bargaining unit of Region 8 as part of a coalition of four other unions to represent the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Maryland. In October 2017, the combined coalition reached its first individual collective bargaining agreements. UAW Local 17 represents the table dealers. Under Curry’s leadership, the region also won an election for representation at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in June 2018, bringing 1,250 new members into the union.
A North Carolina native and military veteran, Curry served three years on active duty in the U.S. Army and five years in the U.S. Army Reserve.
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Finance. He holds a Master of Business Administration, MBA, degree from the University of Alabama.
Curry joined the UAW in July 1992, when he was hired as a truck assembler at Freightliner Trucks in Mount Holly, North Carolina, (now Daimler Trucks, NA) and later became a quality assurance inspector. He remained in that position until 2004. He served on the local’s civil rights committee and as a delegate for the area A. Philip Randolph Chapter.
From 1998 to 2004, UAW Local 5285 members elected him to serve in numerous leadership positions, including as UAW Constitutional Convention delegate, chairman of the trustees, financial secretary-treasurer and alternate committeeperson. He also served as chairman of the UAW North Carolina State Political Action Committee, executive board vice president of the North Carolina AFL-CIO and as a UAW member organizer on the 2003 and 2004 Freightliner organizing drives in Cleveland, Gastonia and High Point, North Carolina.
In October 2004, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger appointed him as an International representative assigned to Region 8. His assignment as a servicing representative included aerospace, automotive (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors facilities), heavy truck, and numerous automotive supplier locations in Alabama and Tennessee. He was responsible for collective bargaining, arbitration, organizing, political action and other bargaining-unit assignments. In June 2010, he was appointed Region 8 assistant director by then–Region 8 Director Gary Casteel.
Curry was elected as a 2012 Democratic National Convention alternate delegate on behalf of the state of Tennessee and later became a full voting delegate at the convention.
He is the 2017 recipient of the A. Philip Randolph Leon Lynch Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017 recipient of the Tennessee State AFL-CIO Presidential Award, the 2018 PR Latta Rank and File Award from the North Carolina AFL-CIO, as well as the 2019 National Newspaper Press Association’s National Leadership Award.
A longtime grassroots activist, Curry is a member of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, a Silver Life member of the NAACP, and member of the national NAACP Board of Directors. He is also an active member of numerous community and social organizations including but not limited to the Michigan State Democratic Party, American Legion Post 177 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Unique Masonic Lodge #85, Charlotte Consistory #35, and Rameses Temple #51 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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