Mar 25, 2023
United Auto Workers Picks Shawn Fain to Take Over Presidency
(Bloomberg) -- The United Auto Workers has confirmed that Shawn Fain will be sworn in as president on Sunday, taking over as the union prepares for contract talks with Detroit automakers later this year.
Current President Ray Curry announced the transition on the UAW’s website on Saturday. “It has been the honor of my life to serve our great union,” Curry said in a statement. “I am committed to ensuring that this transition is smooth and without disruptions.”
Curry failed to secure a new four-year term in the union’s first-ever direct election in December, and the razor-tight election was decided in a run-off. Fain had been backed by Unite All Workers for Democracy, a reform group within the union.
The vote underscored a deep divide in the UAW, one of the nation’s largest unions with about 1 million active and retired members. The UAW had not experienced a serious leadership challenge since Walter Reuther consolidated power in the late 1940s.
Read More: UAW Presidential Race Heads to Runoff in a Rebuke of Leaders
The UAW is trying to regain the confidence of its members after a five-year US investigation into embezzlement and illegal payoffs to union executives netted more than a dozen convictions, including two former presidents.
Fain will face pressure to appease workers at General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis NV who are looking for wage gains to offset inflation. He will also need to address long-running issues like a two-tier wage system and the use of temporary workers.
The union faces threats to job security and wage standards as carmakers invest billions in nonunion southern states to build electric vehicles, which require fewer people and hours to assemble than combustion-engine cars.
(Corrects timeframe of negotiations in graf 1)
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