Back in 2010, on the day that Bob King was elected president of the United Auto Workers, replacing Ron Gettelfinger, Dennis Williams was elected secretary-treasurer of the union. Last December, Williams was nominated to replace King when King's tenure concluded this month, and as of yesterday, Williams is the new president of the UAW. Gary Walkowicz challenged Williams for the position - Walkowicz ran against King as well - but Williams won all but 55 of the 3,270 votes.

An article in the Detroit News presents members as most worried about the two-tier wage structure enacted after UAW givebacks necessitated by the financial crisis. Union folks say that having veteran floor workers make up to $28 dollars per hour while newer workers make around half that or, at most, $19 per hour, has "caused a major riff among union members." Another, perhaps more pressing, issue is the state of the union itself: Williams might want to begin his four-year term focused on growing a membership that has declined 31 percent in nine years and trying to, as one UAW delegate said, "educate people about its benefits."

All of those missions would fit in with the skills that led to his nomination. The man who worked for Case and has never worked in an auto factory is noted for excellent bargaining skills, his "record as a regional director" and his supposed connections to the current presidential administration. Having worked at the national level in the UAW for more than 25 years and closely with Bob King for the last four, no one expects a sudden change of direction from the leadership, but everyone will be looking to see what Williams can do that King wasn't able to.

There's a press release below from the UAW with more details on the election.
Show full PR text
Delegates overwhelmingly elect Dennis Williams as next president

6-4-2014 -- UAW delegates at the 36th Constitutional Convention celebrated their solidarity today when they elected officers to lead the union for the next four years.

Dennis Williams, the UAW's secretary-treasurer, won 3,215 votes with 49 votes going to challenger Gary Walkowicz, UAW Local 600 bargaining committeeperson, as the union's next president. Gary Casteel, director of UAW Region 8, won the secretary-treasurer spot by acclamation.

Also, by acclamation, UAW vice presidents Cindy Estrada and Jimmy Settles won re-election, and Region 1C Director Norwood Jewell was elected for his first term as vice president.

Also, candidate Mike Maddox of UAW Local 1649 won election to UAW Trustees.

In nominating the officers, delegates had high praise for their candidates. Local 145 President Joe Morel nominated Williams for president. "Dennis has always been a champion of social justice, not just here at home but abroad as well," said Morel. "He has never forgotten where he came from and holds the utmost respect for UAW members."

Casteel's nomination for UAW secretary-treasurer was delivered by Tim Chance of Local 737. "Gary has demonstrated dynamic leadership skills during his 12 years as director of Region 8. He is a man of integrity and strength, with a passion for achieving social and economic parity for all who have worked hard in this country to provide for their families and to live their lives with dignity," said Chance.

Local 600 President Bernie Ricke nominated Estrada for a vice president position, saying her "fighting spirit and humanity" are key to her leadership and are what inspires everyone around her. "I am proud to be her partner in the fight for social justice within our neighborhood of southwest Detroit," said Ricke.

Scott Estridge, chairman of Local 862, nominated Settles for a vice presidency "... because of his long history with the UAW and his integrity, courage and strength. He has earned the respect of the company and the union leadership," said Estridge.

Jewell's vice presidential nomination was delivered by Local 659 President Reggie Smith. "Norwood has a long history of leadership with the UAW including as director of Region 1C, a region which was produced great leaders that have risen in this International UAW."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      "In other news, the Titanic has named a new captain.........."
      Rex Monaco
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where is the diversity? No person of color? No woman?
      Samantha JONES
      • 2 Months Ago

      Uncle denny I LOVE YOU. you are an amazing man.

      • 1 Year Ago
      It's nice to see the Mafia display their new bosses!
        • 1 Year Ago
        Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?
        • 1 Year Ago
        That's not the Tea Party-it's the UAW.
          • 1 Year Ago
          What about the Tea Party? I've yet to hear of any Tea Party gatherings erupting into violence. You know the left leaning media outlets woul be all over it if an incident did indeed occur. On the other hand, I've seen UAW members lashing out way with my own two eyes, and have heard some pretty hateful/racist statements coming from the mouths from folks partaking in the Occupy Wall Street movement, including in my very liberal hometown where they were pushed to the very far fringes of downtown between the courthouse and police station because of all of the problems they were causing. Oh, and let's talk about the "May Day" people, a European inspired leftist movement which involves a bunch of people forming groups on line to get together and vandalize businesses and private property on May 1st. I saw that occur in my home town a couple times as well.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let me guess, his being elected involved what remains of the UAW gathering around a table and chanting something like this: We accept him!! We accept him!! One of us!! One of us!! Gooble Gobble!! Goobble Gobbble!! One of us!! One of us!! Gooble Gobble Gooble Gobble!!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who gets a new job and expects to make the same hourly wage as someone who has been there on the job for 10-15-20 years? How can you expect an employer to hire new inexperienced workers and pay them the same per hour rate as a veteran worker? That makes no sense to me. If I was a veteran employee and found out the fresh-out-of-high-school kid is making the same as me...I would not be happy.
        • 1 Year Ago
        It's the UAW, where they feel entitled to anything and everything.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Made in America...lmao
      • 1 Year Ago
      The UAW is history. Everyone knows it. They had their time in the sun, but the sun is setting and there ain't nothing they can do about it. Soon, they will have at least 38 members left, then 22, then 5, then 2. The final member can turn out the light when they leave the room for the last time.
      • 1 Year Ago
      From King Bob to Dennis The Menace. This should be fun.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm surprised not to see the stage littered with cash with them raising their arms so high.
      E85 450HP Forester
      • 1 Year Ago
      que puto asco de gente, aggghhh.
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