July 14, 2024

350lachine

Automotive pure lust

UAW leadership race will be decided in January

UAW leadership race will be decided in January

Curry, in a statement, said he was “confident that all re-elected and newly elected UAW International Executive Board members look forward to leading all of our sectors and membership with a vision of strengthening our great union.”

Among the board’s challenges next year will be negotiating pay raises and product commitments from the Detroit 3, along with unionizing battery plants as the industry pivots to electrification. Last week, workers at the Ultium Cells plant in Warren, Ohio — a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution — voted overwhelmingly to join the UAW.

“As the auto industry transitions to electric vehicles, new workers entering the auto sector at plants like Ultium are thinking about their value and worth,” Curry said in a statement after the vote, which was 710 to 16 in favor of joining. “This vote shows that they want to be a part of maintaining the high standards and wages that UAW members have built in the auto industry.”

GM CEO Mary Barra has said she would welcome the UAW at the Ultium plants. She told the Automotive Press Association last week in Detroit that she would want to finalize a labor agreement “as soon as possible,” and that she doesn’t believe a unionized work force would necessarily raise costs at a battery plant.

“We have to be competitive to be able to reinvest in our business in the future to create that job security,” Barra said. “When you have that conversation on the plant floor, they get it.”

In the immediate future, Curry’s challenge will be to rally his base so he can retain the presidency.

A recent Facebook post for the “Curry Solidarity Team” slate of candidates touted health care gains negotiated during contract talks with General Dynamics alongside the tag line “Real experience. Real results.”

The candidates not in the runoff got about 25,000 votes among them, so the outcome could hinge on whether those voters sit out the next round of voting or rally behind a different candidate — and whether any of the nearly 900,000 active and retired members who didn’t vote do so this time.

“It really is a matter of who can turn out the voters,” Wheaton said. “I don’t know if they’ll be able to energize the Curry caucus to overtake the other group. [The reformers] certainly smell blood in the water and want to see if they can finish this off.”

Lindsay VanHulle contributed to this report.