United Auto Workers
8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214
390,000 active members
600,000 plus retired members
There are more than 750 local unions in the UAW. The UAW currently has 2,500 contracts with some 1,700 employers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
A solid majority of the union’s retirees stay actively involved in the life of their union, participating in 703 retiree chapters.
The UAW International Executive Board is responsible for carrying out the programs and policies approved by the Constitutional Convention delegates and running the day-to-day operations of the International Union. The 17-member board consists of six officers — the president, secretary-treasurer and four vice presidents — and 10 regional directors. All board members are elected to four-year terms by delegates at the UAW Constitutional Convention.
- Agricultural Implements
- Food & Beverage
- Medical, Health
- Heating & Air Conditioning
- Industrial Equipment Supply
- Automotive Parts & Equip.
- Heavy Trucks/Construction Equip.
- Cars, Trucks & Vans
- Higher Education
- Pharmaceutical Products
- Child Care
- Home Repair & Building Products
- Plumbing Products
- Housewares & Kitchen Products
- Sports & Recreation
- Printing, Broadcasting, and Communications
Bob King, International President,
Bob King was elected UAW president on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit. King, who is known for his activism and passionate beliefs in social and economic justice, served three terms as a UAW vice president. In his last term as vice president, he directed the Ford, Severstal, and Competitive Shops/Independents, Parts and Suppliers (IPS) departments.
King played a major role in both the UAW Ford 2007 National Agreement and the 2009 modifications of the agreement. King was first elected a UAW vice president in 1998 and assigned to lead the union’s National Organizing Department. He was re-elected in 2002. During King’s leadership the National Organizing Department assisted more than 80,000 workers in their efforts to join the UAW. He pioneered the use of innovative neutrality and majority sign-up agreements with employers that gave workers the right to join the UAW without employer interference.
Prior to his service as vice president, King was elected to three terms (1989-1998) as director of Region 1A, which covers nearly all of Wayne, Monroe and Washtenaw counties in Michigan. As regional director, King mobilized 1,500 unionists to support recently organized members in a pre-dawn demonstration at Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) in Plymouth, Mich., in 1997. This demonstration and strong solidarity from UAW customer assembly plants resulted in a major victory for these new UAW JCI members and ultimately led to all JCI Detroit 3 seating plants organizing into the UAW. The UAW and JCI built a strong relationship and bargained innovative agreements in all of the newly organized facilities.
Under his leadership, Region 1A activists mobilized caravans to show solidarity for United Steelworkers and United Mine Workers. King led a caravan from Region 1A to Hamlet, N.C., in 1992 to participate in the March for Justice for 25 non-union workers killed in a fire due to lax safety standards at a chicken processing factory. He has led delegations to Mexico and El Salvador to stand in solidarity with the oppressed. In 1990 he led delegations to El Salvador to support trade unionists and church members who were victims of a long campaign of deadly bombings, death-squad murders and disappearances carried out by Salvadoran military officers trained by the U.S. military’s School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Ga. King has long been involved in efforts to close the school.
He joined UAW Local 600 in 1970 when he was hired at Ford’s Detroit Parts Depot and began his electrical apprenticeship in 1972. King, a member of the UAW International Skilled Trades Advisory Committee, was elected vice president of Local 600 in 1981 and president in 1984. He was re-elected in 1987 and was twice elected chair of the UAW-Ford Negotiating Committee. While at Local 600 King was active in the fight to end apartheid, the successful campaign and legal action to open Dearborn parks, support for UAW Colt strikers, and many other social justice fights.
King was one of the original members of the AFL-CIO Elected Leader Task Force on Organizing. He also founded the region-wide International Labor Solidarity Network. A 1968 graduate of the University of Michigan, King received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Detroit. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1970. King is a life member of the NAACP, a Michigan Democratic Party precinct delegate, and a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
Dennis Williams, Secretary-Treasurer
Dennis Williams was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the UAW at the union’s 35th Constitutional Convention on June 16, 2010 in Detroit.
Williams, a United States Marine Corp veteran, joined UAW Local 806 in 1977 at J.I. Case where he was a salvage welder. He was elected to the bargaining committee and as chairman.
In 1988, Williams was appointed as an international representative and assigned to the National Organizing Department. Besides organizing, his assignments included negotiating the first contract at Mitsubishi Motors North America in Bloomington, Ill. He also assisted in organizing Indiana state employees and spent 2.5 years assisting members of Local 844 in Vermont, Illinois, obtain a first contract.
In 1992, Region 4 Director Bill Stewart assigned Williams to service locals in various sectors throughout the region, including Agricultural Implements, Independent Parts and Supplier (IPS), and Technical, Office and Professional (TOP). He also assisted in the negotiation and servicing of several national agreements. In June 1995, Williams was appointed to be assistant director of Region 4 by Regional Director Paul Korman, where he served until his election as director.
In 2001, he was elected UAW Region 4 Director at a special convention. He was re-elected in June 2002 and in June 2006 at the UAW Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas. Region 4 includes Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
General Holiefield, Vice President
General Holiefield was elected to a second term as a UAW vice president on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the union’s 35th Constitutional Convention.
First elected to the post on June 14, 2006, Holiefield directed the union’s Chrysler, Heavy Truck and Engine, and General Dynamics departments.
A UAW member for 37 years, Holiefield served as executive administrative assistant to former UAW President Ron Gettelfinger from June 2004 until his election as vice president. He is the first African-American to serve in the union’s top staff position.
Holiefield previously served two years as an administrative assistant to then-Vice President Nate Gooden, who directed the UAW DaimlerChrysler Department. In the UAW’s successful 2003 national negotiations with DaimlerChrysler, Holiefield coordinated the national negotiating committees and staff assignments and played a major role in ratifying the national agreement.
Holiefield was appointed to the UAW International staff in 1995 by then-President Stephen P. Yokich and assigned to the union’s Chrysler Department, then directed by Vice President Jack Laskowski. As a servicing representative, he worked closely with UAW members and local union leaders at Chrysler manufacturing and parts plants in Michigan and Indiana. In 1997 Laskowski promoted Holiefield to the position of appeals board coordinator, with responsibility for handling arbitration cases for the union’s Chrysler Department. In 1999 Gooden named Holiefield as an assistant director of the union’s DaimlerChrysler Department, and promoted him to administrative assistant in 2002.
Holiefield has been a UAW member since 1973, when he went to work at Chrysler’s Jefferson assembly plant in Detroit. In 1975 he transferred to Chrysler’s axle plant on Detroit’s lower East Side, where he quickly became active in UAW Local 961, working on various standing committees, including the Civil Rights, Community Action Program (CAP), Union Label, and Bylaws committees.
Recognizing his activism and leadership skills, Local 961 members elected Holiefield as their chief steward in 1987. He was elected vice president of his local union in 1990, and became president two years later when his predecessor retired. In 1992 Holiefield was elected by his local union members as a delegate to the UAW’s 30th Constitutional Convention. In 1993 his local’s members elected him president and bargaining chair by acclamation.
A longtime political and community activist, Holiefield is a member of the Michigan Democratic Party, a life member of the NAACP, as well as a member of the NAACP’s national board of directors, a member of the UAW Legal Services Board and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).
James Settles Jr., Vice President
James Settles Jr. was elected a vice president of the UAW on June 14, 2006, at the union’s 34th Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas and re-elected June 16, 2010, at the union’s 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit.
Settles has served on the UAW International Executive Board since June 2002, when he was elected director of UAW Region 1A. As Region 1A director, Settles played a lead role in successful organizing campaigns at such automotive parts suppliers as Johnson Controls, Arvin Meritor, GKN Sinter Metals, ACI, Bridgewater Interiors and Hollingsworth. He also was part of the UAW team in negotiations with Detroit Diesel and the State of Michigan. He was appointed to the staff of the UAW in 1992 as a servicing representative in Region 1A.
Settles began his career as a trade union activist in 1968, when he joined UAW Local 600 upon starting work at Ford Motor Co.’s Dearborn Iron Foundry and Michigan Casting Center.
In 1970, Settles was elected to the General Council of Local 600, an amalgamated local union. In 1973, he was elected district committee person and unit recording secretary. Two years later, he was elected unit vice president and district committeeperson. In 1980, his co-workers elected Settles as unit president. He was also elected as a delegate to the UAW Constitutional Conventions in 1974, 1977 and 1980.
Settles was appointed to the UAW Local 600 staff in 1982. He served as staff director in 1983 and as administrative assistant in 1984. UAW Local 600 members elected Settles recording secretary in 1984 and first vice president in 1987. He was a member of the UAW-Ford National Negotiating Committee in 1990.
A longtime political activist and Democratic precinct delegate, Settles has worked on numerous campaigns for progressive candidates and causes in southeast Michigan. A Detroit native, Settles is active in a wide range of community and civic organizations. He is a member of the Detroit-Wayne County Board of Authority, the Trade Union Leadership Council, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and a Life member of the NAACP. He serves on the boards of the Henry Ford Community College Employment and Training Development Center, the Detroit Public School Compact Association at McMichael Middle School and the North Rosedale Park Civic Association. He is a former member of the board of the Rouge Employees Credit Union.
Joe Ashton, Vice President
Joseph Ashton was elected a UAW vice president on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit.
Ashton, who previously served as director of Region 9, was elected to that leadership post on June 14, 2006, at the union’s 34th Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas. As director, he played a key role in the organizing of 6,000 casino workers in Atlantic City, N.J. Region 9 covers western and central New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, excluding the counties of Franklin, Cumberland, Adams and York.
Ashton served as assistant director of Region 9 from January 2003 until his election as director. As assistant director, Ashton played a key role in contract negotiations between the UAW and companies such as SPD Technologies, Dana and Boeing, and in helping 2,400 workers at AK Steel in Butler, Pa., win UAW representation in December 2003.
In 1986 Ashton was appointed to the UAW International staff and assigned to servicing Region 9 local unions at numerous employers throughout the region. In 1996 he was appointed area director for Region 9 Pennsylvania. Ashton joined UAW Local 1612 in 1969 while working at ITE Circuit in Philadelphia. He quickly became active in his local union and over the years served as sergeant-at-arms, vice president and bargaining committee chairman.
UAW Local 1612 members elected Ashton president, making the 28-year-old union activist the youngest president in the local’s history. Ashton served in that capacity until his appointment to the UAW staff. He also represented Local 1612 as a delegate to three UAW Constitutional Conventions.
In 1982 Ashton was elected president of the UAW’s Pennsylvania State Community Action Program (CAP), the union’s political action arm, a position he held until joining the UAW staff.
Ashton is executive vice president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Executive Council, executive vice president of the New Jersey AFL-CIO and a former director of the Western New York Federal Reserve Bank. He is a member of the Multiple Sclerosis Association, the Statewide Labor Advisory Committee for Pennsylvania, the Northeast-Midwest Alliance for Labor, and the Industrial Relations Research Association of Pennsylvania and Meals on Wheels.
Cindy Estrada, Vice President
Cindy Estrada was elected a UAW vice president on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the union’s 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit.
Estrada, a longtime union organizer and social activist, is the first Latina elected to serve as a UAW vice president. A member of UAW Local 174 in Romulus, Michigan since 1995, Estrada previously served as director of the union’s National Organizing Department. Appointed in 2008 by then-UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, her responsibilities included directing the union’s organizing staff in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. She joined the UAW international staff in 2000 when she was appointed by then-UAW President Stephen P. Yokich.
In 1993 she earned a degree in education from the University of Michigan, and then worked with the United Farm Workers of America.
In 1995 Bob King, then-director of UAW Region 1A, assigned Estrada to assist with the Mexican Industries organizing drive in southwest Detroit. In 1999 Estrada led organizers in bringing about one of the largest victories in manufacturing of Spanish-speaking workers for the UAW.
Before becoming director of National Organizing, then-UAW Vice President Terry Thurman named Estrada the department’s top administrative assistant. Her responsibilities included directing the organizing staff in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and for giving quarterly reports to the UAW International Executive Board.
Estrada, a lifelong Democrat, is an active member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). She is involved in numerous charitable organizations.
*The June 2014 UAW Convention will result in many changes to the executive board. Bob King will retire, and Dennis Williams will likely replace him as president. Gary Casteel has been nominated to replace Williams as Secretary-Treasurer. Vice Presidents Holiefield and Ashton have announced they will also be retiring. UAW Region 1C Director Norwood Jewell was endorsed to fill the Vice President vacancies created with the retirements of Ashton and Holiefield, reducing the vice presidency seats to three if the proposal passes the convention. James Settles Jr. and Cynthia Estrada are running for re-election for the two remaining vice president positions.
Obama’s bailout in part revived the US auto industry, but UAW workers are still at risk. However, the union understands what the threat of climate change means for the planet and industry; therefore, the UAW is making strides to evolve. As a sign of UAW’s policy shift, former president Gettlefinger supported the Waxman Markey bill that addresses serious threats to climate change. Likewise, in President Bob King’s testimony at the Public Hearing for Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Economy Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles in Model Years 2017-2025, he explained that “one important reason we are so confident about the industry’s future is that we are excited about the new green technologies that are being developed in the United States and produced in UAW-represented facilities. The drive to bring innovative fuel-saving technologies to market is transforming the auto industry in the United States and creating good jobs from the research lab to the factory floor.”
Although the UAW is trying to find ways to transition to green auto jobs and recover from the economy’s downturn, the journey has not been easy for the autoworkers. Membership continues to drop dramatically and multiple auto plants have closed, leaving hundreds of workers unemployed. Unsurprisingly, the UAW approached climate change cautiously. New president Bob King has maintained the centralized method for dealing with environmental issues. Like his forebear Gettlefinger, King has signed all public UAW statements on carbon emissions and climate change and given all testimonies to Congress.
In one such testimony, Bob King reframed the green auto imperative as beneficial for UAW’s membership, the auto industry and consumers. He stated, “The 21st-century UAW understands that job security ultimately comes from providing customers the highest quality and best value vehicles… One clear priority of consumers today is for more fuel-efficient vehicles… [but] improvements in fuel economy are important for reasons beyond the need to meet customer demands for relief at the gas pump. The auto industry has a significant role to play in reducing our demand for imported oil and solving the problem of climate change. The UAW understands the threat to the well being of Americans these problems pose….The drive to improve fuel economy is already paying off in jobs, with significant investments for the production of fuel-saving technology in UAW-represented plants in the domestic auto industry.”
The UAW knows the stakes. Rather than combat positive climate change policies, it has ultimately moved towards a new adaptive stance. The union is pressing Congress to oppose resolutions that would nullify EPA’s “endangerment finding” that greenhouse gases threaten human health. The union has the ear of Democrats in states with a heavy auto industry presence such as Michigan and Ohio. To read the full letter to Congress, see Appendix 2.
The UAW is certainly trying to work within the confines of its difficult position. The union clearly wants to support positive environmental legislation, but it also needs to protect its members’ jobs. It appears that much of the union’s advocacy work stems from the recognition that the industry will shift towards fuel efficiency regardless—better to join in be part of the process. The UAW’s involvement in Obama’s Green House Gas legislation is the perfect example. The UAW played an important role in negotiating the CAFE 2012-2016 standards, and over the last few months, in negotiating the framework agreement to extend the standards to 2025. The UAW pushed for the highest feasible increase in fuel efficiency without jeopardizing any American auto jobs.
In May 2009, President Obama announced a historic agreement between key stakeholders on a single national fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standard for cars and light trucks. This agreement included the auto manufacturers, environmental groups, the state of California and the UAW. The UAW supported the agreement on a single, national fuel economy/GHG emission standard for motor vehicles for its benefit to both the environment and the economy.
According to the UAW, the agreement “will result in substantial reductions in oil consumption and GHG emissions. At the same time, it will protect automotive jobs by avoiding a multitude of conflicting federal and state regulations.” Incentives for early introduction of advanced technology and flexibility to average fuel economy and emissions over the entire industry (using cap-and-trade-style credits) are included in the new standards, to which most domestic and foreign automakers and the United Auto Workers agreed.
However, the UAW reported that “the state of California is already beginning to consider even more stringent requirements on motor vehicles for the period following MY 2016. The UAW and the auto companies believe this could have a damaging impact on the fragile auto industry. As a result, the UAW is urging the Obama administration and Congress to begin the process of extending the single, national fuel economy/GHG emission standard for motor vehicles beyond 2016.”
In May 2010, President Obama announced that the “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), again working together with the state of California, will undertake rule-making for a new standard for model years 2017-2025.” President Obama told the agencies to create provisions to “strengthen the industry and enhance jobs creation in the United States.” The UAW reported that it “will remain closely engaged in the process of developing a new national standard for 2017 and beyond.” The UAW further declared that it “believes this approach is much better for [its] members and for the environment than having Congress set Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards through a politicized process.”
Other legislative priorities have included the ATVMIP, KORUS 2010 program, and the Keystong XL pipeline. The BlueGreen Alliance writes, “Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP) is good for American workers and good for the environment. For this reason, the auto companies and the UAW have been joined by our environmental partners in the BlueGreen Alliance in lobbying for a renewal of funding for Section 136 in the 112th Congress.” Additionally, the UAW supported the Updated KORUS 2010 agreement which requires U.S. autos to comply with Korean environmental standards on fuel economy and emissions. These requirements have also been a barrier to the export of American vehicles to Korea.
UAW also supported Obama’s decision to delay building the Keystone XL Pipeline, saying in a joint statement that “addressing global climate change, establishing sustainable and secure energy sources, and creating and retaining safe and family-supportive jobs are keys to a positive future for our children and grandchildren. President Obama has acted wisely.”
Green Employment Prospects
According to the UAW, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), commonly referred to as “the stimulus bill,” provided for $2.4 billion in grants for battery and electric-drive component manufacturing. According to the Department of Energy, this funding is expected to increase the U.S. share of global manufacturing of advanced batteries for electric vehicles from two percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2015. By the end of last year, this ARRA funding, matched at least one-for-one by the manufacturers, had led to construction of nine advanced battery plants in the United States.” This will have created thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs for U.S. workers.
According to CSRwire, as of 2012, the GM, Chrysler (now Fiat), and Ford were once again hiring, “re-opening plants, posting profits, repaying government monies, and once again their future is looking bright. Moreover, all three companies have published robust and exemplary sustainability and responsibility reports this year — for 2011 results and some for the 2012 model year results.”
“Chrysler Group, now owned by Fiat Group (Italy), detailed the company’s sustainability plans, and focuses on such topics as CO2 emissions (vehicles), the company’s carbon footprint, environmental impacts, building a sustainable supply chain, and the “recyclability” of its cars and trucks, in its 2011 Sustainability Report.”
“The new GM also published its first sustainability report — Sustainability in Motion this year. The report is “buildable” online to enable customization by the user and follows the GRI framework although the company did not select an application Level for this first effort.”
“Ford has been building its “green” reputation for more than a decade and its latest sustainability report marks its 13th, a GRI Level A (not third-party assured, so no “+”). The report covers 2011 results and 2012 model year vehicles and is built around several themes: climate change, financial health, water, vehicle safety, supply chain, and people. The document is also part of a more comprehensive disclosure by the company regarding its ESG/Sustainability strategies and performance.”
Appendix 1: Regional Directors
Charles E. Hall was elected director of UAW Region 1 by delegates to the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention on June 16, 2010, in Detroit.
He was appointed Region 1 assistant director on Jan. 4, 2010, by then-UAW President Ron Gettlefinger on the recommendation of Region 1 Director Joseph Peters.
In February 2005 Hall was appointed to the UAW International staff and assigned to Region 1. A UAW member since 1972, Hall joined UAW Local 3 where he began working at Chrysler’s Winfield Foundry in Detroit. At the foundry, he performed numerous tasks, including working in the inspections and heat-treat departments.
In 1977 Hall accepted a position in timekeeping at Huber Foundry in amalgamated UAW Local 889. He worked there, as well as at Chrysler’s Dodge Main plant, until it closed in 1980. He returned to Winfield Foundry where he worked until 1983 and was recalled to the timekeeping position.
In 1987 Hall accepted a position at Chrysler Corporate Payroll and was elected chief steward of his unit in 1991. Seven years later, he was voted unit financial secretary and appointed civil rights chairperson for the local. In 2001 Hall was elected financial secretary for Local 889. Three years later, Hall was elected unit chair for the Chrysler Manufacturing Group Accounting (MGA). In 2002 he was elected as delegate to the UAW Constitutional Convention and also served on the credentials committee.
Rory L. Gamble was elected to a second term as director of UAW Region 1A on June 16, 2010, at the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit. He was first elected to lead the region on June 14, 2006. Region 1A covers most of Wayne County, Mich., (including part of Detroit), Monroe and Washtenaw counties, and extends to the Ohio border.
Gamble, a welder fixture repairman, joined the UAW in 1974 when he was hired at the Ford Motor Co. Dearborn (Mich.) Frame Plant. He immediately became active in UAW Local 600 and has since served in numerous elected and appointed positions. In 1975 Local 600 members elected him to serve as a plant trustee.
From 1976 to 1979 he was the local’s alternate benefit representative. He served as bargaining committee chair in 1984. In 1988 he was appointed staff director and administrative assistant for Local 600’s president, with responsibilities for third-stage grievance agendas for all Ford Rouge plants and as editor of UAW Facts, the local’s newspaper. He was elected delegate to the UAW’s 32nd Constitutional Conve ntion and served on the Constitution Committee.
Since 1987 Gamble’s assignments have included local union health and safety coordinator, employee support services program, education director, civil rights coordinator, fitness center coordinator, and family services and learning center coordinator.
He has served as director of Local 600 Ford units, including Dearborn Engine and Fuel Tank, Dearborn Truck Plant, Milan, Industrial Athlete and Dearborn Frame. Other assignments have included retirees’ liaison and coordinator of the Rouge Rehabilitation Center.
In 1993 and 2003 Gamble served on the UAW-Ford National Negotiating Team. From 1993 to 2002 he was elected to three terms as the local’s recording secretary. Gamble was elected first vice president of Local 600 in 2002 and re-elected in 2005.
Norwood H. Jewell was elected director of UAW Region 1C by the delegates to the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention on June 16, 2010, in Detroit.
Jewell was appointed assistant director of Region 1C on June 14, 2006, at the union’s 34th Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas by President Ron Gettelfinger at the request of Region 1C Director Duane Zuckschwerdt. The region, which is headquartered in Flint, Mich., covers an 11-county area of south central Michigan.
A UAW Local 659 member since 1976, Jewell worked at General Motors’ Flint Metal Fabricating plant. He started on the production line before becoming active in the union in 1988.
His union activism led to various elected positions at the local, beginning with alternate committeeman in 1988. From there he was elected committeeman in 1990 and district and shop committeeman in 1991. Jewell was re-elected to district and shop committeeman in 1993 and elected shop committeeman-at-large in 1994. He was elected bargaining committee chair at Flint Metal Center in 1996 and again in 1999. Jewell was one of the key figures during the historic strike of 1998 between the UAW and GM.
He was elected to the National Bargaining Committee in 1998 and served on the bargaining team during the 1999 UAW-GM National Negotiations.
In 2000 Jewell was appointed to the International staff by UAW President Stephen P. Yokich at the request of Vice President Richard Shoemaker and assigned to the UAW-GM Health and Safety Department as a plant auditor for the GM Truck Assembly plants and co-chair over the UAW-GM/Delphi Ergonomics Program for the UAW. Jewell was reassigned to service American Axle and Manufacturing under the direction of Vice President Cal Rapson in 2002. In 2004 Jewell was reassigned to Region 1-C as a servicing representative with GM, IPS and TOP assignments in both Lansing and Flint.
Gerald Kariem was elected director of UAW Region 1D by delegates to the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention on June 16, 2010, in Detroit.
Kariem was appointed as assistant director by then-Regional Director Don Oetman on June 30, 2008. He started his union/work career in 1976 at 20 years old when he began working at Saginaw Steering Gear, represented by UAW Local 699. He is currently a member of UAW Local 362.
Kariem’s initial involvement with the union began in the early 1980s when he became a member of the education committee. His fire for the union movement and the UAW started when he got involved in the Community Action Program. He ran for district committeeperson in 1992, and won, served a full term and won the next by acclamation. After that term, he was elected to the shop committee, representing nearly 1,500 members.
Kariem was selected in 1998 to participate in the distinguished UAW Fellowship Program. Kariem was appointed to the International staff as a servicing representative in 2001 by then-Regional Director George Andros.
Ken Lortz was re-elected director of UAW Region 2B on June 16, 2010, by delegates to the union’s 35th Constitutional Convention.
Lortz was first elected to the post by delegates at a special Region 2B convention held April 30, 2009, to replace retiring director Lloyd Mahaffey.
Prior to becoming director, Lortz had served as assistant director of the region, which covers the state of Ohio, since 2002 when he was appointed to the position by then-UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. Following a successful organizing drive at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo in 2000, Lortz was assigned as the lead negotiator for the three newly organized bargaining units in UAW Local 12 that include nurses, technical and service employees. He helped win significantly improved pension, wage and health benefits for nearly 2,800 new UAW members when they won their first contract.
Lortz carried out servicing responsibilities in northwest Ohio as a member of Region 2B staff from 1993 until 2002. His assignments included Independents, Parts and Suppliers; Technical, Office and Professional contracts, and national Chrysler facilities.
Lortz has been a UAW member since 1970 when he joined Local 336 at Atlas Crankshaft in Fostoria, Ohio. He served the members of Local 336 in a variety of positions from 1974 to 1993, including as president and chairman of the bargaining committee.
Active in his community, Lortz is a life member of the NAACP. He also serves on the board of directors for Camp Courageous, an organization that provides camping experiences and respite weekends for individuals with developmental disabilities. Additionally, Lortz serves on the board of directors for the Toledo Police Athletic League (PAL) and was appointed by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to serve as co-chair of the Governor’s Ohio Auto Industry Support Council.
Ron McInroy was elected director of UAW Region 4 on June 16, 2010, at the 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit. The region includes the north-central states of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
McInroy had been the assistant director of the region since his appointment by then-Director Dennis Williams on Nov. 30, 2008.
McInroy joined the UAW in 1979 when he was hired at John Deere & Company in Waterloo, Iowa, as a member of UAW Local 838. He was elected to many positions within the local, including steward in 1981, a position he held until being elected committeeman in 1993.
In 2000 McInroy was elected chairman of the John Deere Sub-Council. He served as a member of the bargaining committee for the UAW-Deere negotiations in 2003.
A tool grinder by trade, McInroy served on the skilled trades, consumer affairs, and recreation committees at Local 838.
In 2005 he was appointed as a temporary organizer and later that year was appointed by then-President Ron Gettelfinger as a servicing representative in Iowa. His assignment included his home local along with Locals 242, 450, 616, 997, 1024, and one unit out of Local 893.
Jim Wells was elected to a fifth term as director of UAW Region 5 on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the union’s 35th Constitutional Convention. First elected to lead Region 5 in 1995, he was re-elected in 1998, 2002, and again in 2006.
The region covers Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
He served as assistant director from 1989 to 1995. Wells was appointed an international representative by then-UAW President Owen Bieber in 1985, and served four years on the Region 5 staff. He has been a UAW member since 1966, when he was hired at the General Motors plant in St. Louis, and became a member of UAW Local 25. Wells had been elected as an alternate committeeperson in 1970. He served from 1972 to 1982 as a member of the local’s bargaining committee. In 1982 Wells transferred to GM’s new assembly plant in Wentzville, Mo., where he was elected as chair of the shop committee at Local 2250, serving until 1985.
Gary Casteel was elected to a third term as director of UAW Region 8 on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit.
Casteel, 52, a UAW member since 1988, was first elected director of UAW Region 8 on June 6, 2002, and re-elected in 2006. Region 8 covers the Southeast, including Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware and the following counties of Pennsylvania: Franklin, Cumberland, Adams and York.
A member of UAW Local 3036 in Memphis, Tenn., Casteel was appointed to the staff of the International Union in 1997 by UAW President Stephen P. Yokich.
Casteel joined UAW Local 737 when he was hired as a pipefitter-welder at Ford Glass in Nashville. Before that he had been a member of Steamfitters-Pipefitters Local 760 in Muscle Shoals, Ala., for eight years.
He served on the Local 737 bargaining team in 1990 and 1993, and on the negotiating team for the Modern Operating Agreement in 1992. In addition, Casteel served as lead negotiator between the local and Ford in 1996. Casteel was elected vice president of the UAW-Ford Subcouncil No. 3 in 1992, and re-elected in 1996. He was elected as skilled-trades representative in 1990, and re-elected in 1993 and 1996. He was a servicing representative for UAW members at Saturn, Ford and various independent parts firms, and to retired union members and activists in UAW CAP Councils.
Casteel has expertise in grievance handling, arbitration, and administration of contracts and in the constitution and bylaws of local unions.
Scott Adams was elected director of UAW Region 9 by delegates to the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention in Detroit on June 16, 2010.
Adams began his UAW career at Ford Motor Co.’s Buffalo (N.Y.) Stamping Plant in 1972. He became a proud member of UAW Local 897 and was elected district committeeman in 1984. Adams later served the local as vice president, a member of the bargaining committee and two-terms as president and chair.
In 1996 Adams served on the UAW Ford National Negotiating TOP Committee. He also served on the New York State CAP Council as vice president, representing Region 9 members.
In February 1997 Adams was appointed to the International staff and assigned to Region 9. He was responsible for representing UAW membership in all aspects of labor relations, including chairing the UAW Western New York Insurance Council and the Workers’ Compensation Coalition Council.
Adams also served as vice president of the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation.
In August 2004 Adams continued to expand his experience and responsibilities and was appointed Region 9 education director. In August 2006 he was appointed area director for Western New York/Western Pennsylvania in Region 9.
In January 2009 then-Region 9 Director Joe Ashton appointed Adams to be assistant director for the region, which comprises western and central New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, excluding the counties of Franklin, Cumberland, Adams and York.
Julie Kushner was elected director of UAW Region 9A by delegates to the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention on June 16, 2010, in Detroit.
Kushner has been a union activist for more than 30 years.
In 1977 she joined District 65, an independent union that later affiliated with the UAW. She participated in many successful organizing drives, including for clerical and administrative support staff at Columbia University, various trade schools, and public and nonprofit organizations.
In 1992 Kushner became the first president of UAW Local 2110, an amalgamated local with units in a variety of nonmanufacturing settings. As local president, Kushner was responsible for collective bargaining for more than 35 Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) units, including Barnard College, Teachers College of Columbia, the Museum of Modern Art and The Village Voice.
Kushner has been particularly committed to the fight for contract language to protect workers’ health and safety, and to promote women’s and family issues.
In 1994 then-UAW President Owen Bieber appointed Kushner to the International staff at Region 9A and assigned her to education. In 1998 then-UAW President Stephen P. Yokich appointed Kushner as subregional director in the New York Region 9A office under then-Director Phil Wheeler. During her tenure as subregional director, the union was successful in organizing thousands of graduate student employees and adjunct faculty at New York University and the part-time faculty at the New School University.
In 2006 Kushner was appointed assistant director of Region 9A by newly elected Director Bob Madore. In addition to her administrative responsibilities in the region, Kushner worked with the Foxwoods Resort Casino organizing staff and committee, which resulted in an overwhelming election victory by 2,500 dealers in November 2007. Kushner led the campaign and negotiations for a first contract that was ratified by Region 9A’s newest members in January 2010. Over the years Kushner has been involved in more than 30 organizing campaigns and has successfully negotiated more than a dozen first contracts. In addition, she has helped to establish three new local unions in Region 9A.
Involved in a number of civic organizations, she served as a board member of the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, the Working Families Party and Citizen Action of New York. Kushner has worked to build Region 9A’s coalition building program, bringing labor and community groups together to elect progressive candidates.
Appendix 2: Kings Testimony: Public Hearing for Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
President Bob King’s testimony
Public Hearing for Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Economy Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles in Model Years 2017-2025
January 17, 2012 Detroit, Michigan
Hello and thank you. My name is Bob King, and I am President of the United Auto Workers International Union. The UAW represents close to 1,000,000 active and retired members across a diverse range of industries and occupations, but we are of course concentrated in the motor vehicle sector. Over 150,000 UAW members work in the light-duty vehicle and parts industry that the proposed rules cover.
It’s an honor to be here this morning, on behalf of our membership, to voice the UAW’s full support for the proposed rules regulating greenhouse-gas emissions and fuel economy. The proposed rules are sensible, achievable, and needed. They are good for the auto industry and its workers, good for the broader economy, good for the environment and good for our national security.
Adopting the proposed rules will give an additional boost to the revitalization of the auto industry that began with President Obama’s courageous action in the depths of the industry’s crisis to save American manufacturing jobs by giving GM and Chrysler the breathing room they needed to restructure. After a painful process in which workers and retirees made significant sacrifices, the industry is coming back strong. Our union’s new collective bargaining agreements with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler include substantial investment commitments by all three companies, in some cases bringing back work from overseas. The 20,000 UAW-represented hourly jobs that will be added over the next four years will have a substantial positive ripple effect throughout the supply chain as well as local communities.
One important reason we are so confident about the industry’s future is that we are excited about the new green technologies that are being developed in the United States and produced in UAW-represented facilities. The drive to bring innovative fuel-saving technologies to market is transforming the auto industry in the United States and creating good jobs from the research lab to the factory floor.
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have made an unprecedented commitment to invest billions of dollars in their U.S. operations over the next few years, and in every case the investment is supporting new vehicles and powertrains that will be more efficient than the previous generation.
This includes exciting advances such as 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions, both dual-clutch and conventional; engines that feature advanced valve timing and gasoline direct injection; downsized and turbo-charged engines, and vehicles that are considerably lighter than the previous generations but retain the same size. Technologies such as start-stop systems and electric power steering are also making a contribution to vehicle efficiency.
There is a common element for all these technologies – they are all now or will soon be produced by UAW members in factories located in the United States.
And that’s just the beginning – UAW members are also producing new technologies that may not reach large volumes for many years, but that represent the long-term future of the industry. That includes hybrid transmissions and electric-drive components, lithium-ion battery packs, and plug-in and pure electric vehicles. Although most automakers will continue to meet fuel-efficiency and tailpipe emission targets through improvements to conventional vehicles, we are excited that these new, transformative technologies are being produced by UAW members.
These are the automotive jobs of the future, and we are very pleased that they are starting to ramp up now, here in the United States. Thanks to the fresh start President Obama gave the domestic auto industry, new labor agreements that are the result of an innovative, problem-solving approach to bargaining, and the strong, transparent working relationship we have with UAW employers, the U.S. auto industry is growing and adding employees. These proposed rules are a cornerstone of that growth. They provide certainty as manufacturers map out their product and investment plans.
I want to underscore why we believe the drive to increase fuel-efficiency and reduce tailpipe pollution is creating jobs in the U.S. auto industry. One obvious reason is that consumers are demanding more fuel-efficient vehicles, and meeting that demand is an increasingly important part of this business. In an age of rising and volatile fuel prices, American families want to save money on fuel.
A second, more fundamental reason is because the technology needed to improve efficiency and reduce pollution represents additional content on each vehicle. That additional content must be engineered and produced by additional employees.
Last year the UAW, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Larry’s organization, the National Wildlife Federation, produced a report called “Supplying Ingenuity.” That report identified more than 500 separate facilities in the United States employing over 150,000 people where some or all of the employees are working to invent, engineer or produce advanced vehicles and fuel-saving components. These are real jobs supporting real American families.
I also want to say that the UAW believes that the auto manufacturers, all the companies that participated in the technical discussions about these proposals and signed a letter of commitment to support its framework, deserve tremendous credit for their commitment to dramatically increase the efficiency and reduce the emissions of the vehicles sold in the United States.
This is a testament to good government. It shows how government can bring disparate stakeholders together to solve problems that are important to the American public. These proposed rules will reduce the pollution that contributes to climate change, significantly reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, and save American families money at the pump. They will also create jobs in the auto industry and throughout the economy.
That’s an incredible set of positive effects from these proposed rules, and it sums up why the United Auto Workers are in strong support of these proposals. President Obama and his administration, including the two agencies here today, did a great job in developing the proposed rules, and we thank the President for all the great work he has done to strengthen the American automobile industry and automotive communities. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Appendix 3: UAW Letter to Congress
Dear Representative/Senator: A number of disapproval resolutions have been introduced in the House and Senate to overturn the EPA’s endangerment finding on greenhouse gas emissions. It is also possible that riders could be offered to upcoming appropriations bills in an effort to accomplish the same result. The UAW opposes these misguided efforts and urges you to vote against any such disapproval resolutions or riders.
In our judgment, Congress should move forward to enact comprehensive climate change legislation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although we recognize the difficulties involved in this effort, we believe that legislation can be crafted that will reduce global warming pollution while at the same time creating jobs and providing a boost to our economy. In particular, we believe such legislation can help to provide significant investment in domestic production of advanced technology vehicles and their key components, as well as other energy saving technologies. But such progress will be undermined if a disapproval resolution or rider were to overturn EPA’s endangerment finding. The UAW understands the concerns that have been expressed about EPA attempting to use is authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from various industries. However, we believe the best way to address these concerns is for Congress to move forward with comprehensive climate change legislation that properly balances concerns of various regions and sectors, and establishes a new coherent national program to combat climate change.
The UAW also is deeply concerned that overturning EPA’s endangerment finding would unravel the historic agreement on one national standard for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for light duty vehicles that was negotiated by the Obama administration last year. As a result of this agreement among all stakeholders, NHTSA and EPA are proceeding with a joint rulemaking effort that will result in significant reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2016. At the same time, these proposed rules will retain the structural components that Congress enacted in the 2007 energy legislation, thereby providing important flexibility to full line manufacturers and a backstop for the domestic car fleet. Most importantly, California and other states have agreed to forgo state-level regulation of tailpipe emissions and abide by the new national standard that will be created by these NHTSA and EPA rules. This will avoid the burdens that would have been placed on automakers if they had been forced to comply with a multitude of federal and state standards.
However, the critically important progress that was achieved with this historic agreement will be undermined if EPA’s endangerment finding is overturned. Without this finding, EPA will not be able to proceed with its current rulemaking on light duty vehicles. If the joint rulemaking process collapses, NHTSA has indicated that it will not be able to meet the statutory timetable for implementing any fuel economy increases for the 2012 model year. And in the absence of the EPA standard, California and other states would certainly move forward with their standards, thereby subjecting auto manufacturers to all of the burdens that the one national standard was designed to avoid. For all of these reasons, the UAW opposes any attempt to overturn EPA’s endangerment finding, either through a disapproval resolution or through a rider. Thank you for considering our views on this important issue.
Sincerely, Alan Reuther Legislative Director