UAW Mourns the Passing of Former Region 1 Director Ken Terry


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The UAW International Executive Board is saddened by the passing today of our brother and former UAW Region 1 Director Ken Terry.

“Today we lost a champion of worker rights,” says UAW President Ray Curry.  “Ken Terry was an activist, organizer, leader and fighter for UAW’s active and retired members.  He was kind, thoughtful and always put the interests of members, their families, and their communities first.”

Ken Terry joined the UAW as a member of Local 189 in 1963 at the Udylite Corporation, where he was a fabricator and field installer. Instilled with a personal sense of social justice, he progressed through a number of elected positions in his local prior to his election as president in 1978. He held the office for three terms and led its merger into Local 155.

President Owen Bieber appointed him to UAW International staff in 1985 where Terry helped organize 22,000 State of Michigan workers into the UAW. He would go on to serve in the Technical, Office and Professional Department and in the General Motors Department, where he was named assistant director of the UAW-GM Human Resource Center in 1994, and assistant director of Conference Coordination, Motor Sports and Mobile Exhibits at the time of his election as Region 1 Director in 1999.

He was also a member of the NAACP, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the Economic Alliance of Michigan. A lifelong social and political activist on a range of issues, he serves on the Caring Program Committee of the Father Clement Kern Foundation, the AFL-CIO’s Laborfest Committee and remains active in the Michigan Democratic Party.

“Ken was a mentor to many and a true friend.  He was a GREAT leader,” says Region 1 Director James Harris. “He supported all workers – whether they held a union card or not.  Believed that our union must fight for all communities. He represents our tradition of progressive social unionism at its best.”


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