Shawn Fain unseats incumbent Ray Curry

Supporters wave indicators throughout an tackle on the Time Warner Cable Enviornment in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 5, 2012 on the second day of the Democratic Nationwide Conference (DNC).

Mladin Antonov | AFP | Getty Photos

DETROIT – United Auto Employees members have ousted their president within the union’s first direct election, ushering in a new era for the outstanding organized labor group forward of negotiations later this yr with the Detroit automakers.

The union’s new chief might be Shawn Fain, a member of the “UAW Members United” reform group and native chief for a Stellantis components plant in Indiana. He got here out forward in a runoff election by a whole bunch of votes over incumbent Ray Curry, who was appointed president by union leaders in 2021.

Fain, in a press release Saturday, thanked UAW members who voted within the election. He additionally hailed the outcomes as a historic change in route for the embattled union, which he says will take a “extra aggressive strategy” with its employers.

“This election was not only a race between two candidates, it was a referendum on the route of the UAW. For too lengthy, the UAW has been managed by management with a top-down, firm union philosophy who’ve been unwilling to confront administration, and in consequence, we have seen nothing however concessions, corruption, and plant closures,” Fain stated.

Curry, who beforehand protested the slender election outcomes, stated in a press release that Fain might be sworn in on Sunday and that he’s “dedicated to making sure that this transition is clean and with out disruptions.”

“I wish to specific my deep gratitude to all UAW workers, clerical assist, leaders and most of all, our union’s lively and retired members for the various years of assist and solidarity. It has been the respect of my life to serve our nice union,” Curry stated.

Greater than 141,500 ballots have been solid within the runoff election that additionally included two different board positions, a 33% enhance from final yr’s direct election by which neither of the presidential candidates obtained 50% or extra of the votes.

The election was overseen by a federal monitor, who confirmed the outcomes Saturday evening. The outcomes had been delayed a number of weeks resulting from a run-off election in addition to the shut ultimate rely.

Shawn Fain, candidate for UAW president, is in a run-off election with incumbent Ray Curry for the union’s highest-ranking place.

Jim West for UAW Members United

Fain’s election provides to the UAW’s largest upheaval in management in a long time, as a majority of the union’ s Worldwide Govt Board might be made up of first-time administrators who are usually not a part of the “Administration Caucus” that has managed the union for greater than 70 years.

Fain and different members of his management slate ran on the promise of “No corruption. No concessions. No tiers.” The final being a reference to a tiered pay system applied by the automakers throughout latest negotiations that members have requested to be eliminated.

The shuffle follows a yearslong federal investigation that uncovered systemic corruption involving bribery, embezzlement, and different crimes among the many prime ranks of the UAW.

13 UAW officers have been convicted as a part of the probe, together with two previous presidents. As a part of a settlement with the union in late 2020, a federal monitor was appointed to supervise the union and the group held a direct election the place every member has a vote, disposing of a weighted delegate course of.

For traders, UAW negotiations with the Detroit automakers are usually a short-term headwind each 4 years that end in larger prices. However this yr’s negotiations are anticipated to be among the many most contentious and essential in latest reminiscence.

Fain has stated the union will search profit positive factors for members, advocating for the return of a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, in addition to raises and job safety.

The change within the UAW comes in opposition to the backdrop of a broader organized labor motion throughout the nation, a pro-union president and an trade within the transition to all-electric automobiles.

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