DELEGATES REPORT: 37TH UAW Constitutional Convention


DELEGATES REPORT: 37TH UAW Constitutional Convention

 “Over 1100 UAW delegates and 2000 union members from across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico met for the 37th time in UAW history to elect officers; make constitutional amendments; and debate policy June 11 through 14 at Cobo Hall in a resurgent Detroit.

The UAW Constitutional Convention delegates are each elected by their local unions to make key decisions on the direction and future leadership of the union. 

Dennis Williams:” Our Union is strong, our members united”

With a strong voice and heartfelt delivery, UAW President Dennis Williams took the podium at the 37th Constitutional Convention and talked about the promises he made to members four years ago as the union’s newly elected president.

“Four years later, I am proud to report to you that we have achieved our goals,” Williams said. “The bottom line is the UAW is in better shape today than it was four years ago.”

In his farewell remarks to UAW delegates, he told delegates that in his four years as president, the union has had three straight years of balanced budgets, a healthy strike and defense fund and a balance sheet in which “income exceeds expectations.”

The union, he said, gained 20,000 new members last year and engaged in successful organizing campaigns, making it clear that the union remains strong, relevant and what workers prefer when they can vote without being intimidated or bullied. The union gained members at parts suppliers like Dana, Faurecia and Challenge Manufacturing. “At all three of these jobs, workers were allowed to vote without fear of their jobs and as a result they voted yes for the union.”

Williams explained that 2015 Big Three Bargaining showed the union’s strength.

“Big Three bargaining demonstrated how our democratic process worked,” he said. “In 2015, negotiating at GM, FCA and Ford protected health care, improved retirement and addressed job security.” When voters turned initial contracts down, it proved a very important point. “I said when that happened it was not a setback, it was a part of our process,” Williams added.

He reminded members how the union came together to help residents of Flint, Michigan, who were victimized by poisoned drinking water and those in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico who were hard hit by hurricanes. Puerto Rico was particularly devastated by still lagging support from the federal government. But UAW members stepped up and helped with donations of money, labor, fresh water, and whatever help was needed, he said.

“This is what I’m talking about when I talk about solidarity.”

At the heart of Williams’ address was his love for the union, its members and its mission.

“What holds the UAW together and drives the labor movement forward is our solidarity,” he emphasized.

“Over the past four years, the UAW has forged a positive path. We have put ourselves in a better position. We have looked death in the eyes during the recession. We have brought our union back to a foundation of fiscal responsibility for our membership and we have fought the fight. And we will continue to do so. Brothers and sisters, we are in solidarity together forever.”

Over the course of the week delegates discussed and voted on Resolutions additions and changes. Listed below are some of the Resolutions adopted during the convention.


Organizing new members remains a key to building this Union. Only through a strong union can workers win basic, lasting equity and dignity. Over the past four years the UAW has organized more than 20,000 workers in various sectors including higher education, independent parts suppliers and gaming.


Education is the cornerstone of a strong union. It is how we fill the tool box that members and leaders use to fight for working people in the workplace and in politics. Our education efforts are focused on four key areas: Understanding how to work with a collective bargaining agreement, understanding how the union works, understanding UAW history and the struggles that made us who we are today, and understanding the current political environment, including issues surrounding civil and human rights. A strong UAW starts with strong local unions.



More and more U.S. consumers are exercising ethical choices when it comes to purchases. From the environment to child labor to testing on animals, there are a host of issues that can affect a purchasing decision. In fact, a 2015 marketing survey by Mintel found that 56 percent of U.S. consumers will not buy from companies that they believe are unethical.

The labor movement was an early advocate of ethical consumerism through our promotion of the union label. We have argued for decades that we should buy what we build, and we must continue to encourage our members to buy union-made.


One of the reasons workers join unions is because they want safe jobs. While this is a right under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), unions build upon the regulations to create safer workplaces. By giving workers a voice, unions are on the Forefront of the struggle to grow and foster safe jobs. We take on this fight in the workplace, legislature, medical facilities, courthouses and universities where the decisions that affect our safety and health are made.

There were many other resolutions debated and adopted. For the complete text of the resolutions, see a delegate.

NEWLY ELECTED International Executive Board


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 14-member board consists of five officers — the president, secretary-treasurer and three vice presidents — and 9 Regional Directors. All are elected to four-year terms by delegates to the UAW Constitutional Convention. UAW delegates from across the country came together, electing Gary Jones to be the next President of the UAW International Union. Jones previously served as Director of UAW Region 5, and hails from O’Fallon, Missouri. Elected on the same slate were incoming Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, current Vice Presidents Cindy Estrada and Terry Dittes, and incoming Vice President Rory Gamble. The new officers were sworn in on Thursday, closing out the 37th Constitutional Convention.




President Gary Jones

Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry

Vice President Cindy Estrada

Vice President Terry Dittes

Vice President Rory Gamble


Regional Directors:

Region 1 Director Frank Stuglin

Region 1A Director Chuck Browning

Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem

Region 2B Director Rich Rankin

Region 4 Director Ron McInroy

Region 5 Director Vance Pearson

Region 8 Director Mitchell Smith

Region 9 Director - Jeff Binz

Region 9A Director Beverley Brakeman


Delegates also discussed and voted on proposed changes to our constitution.


ARTICLE 16 Dues and Initiation fees:

The following Constitutional change was made to Article 16.

Should the net worth of the international Strike and Defense Fund reach $850 million, then the minimum monthly dues will return to 2 hours of straight time pay and the equivalent percentages of the pre 2014 Convention. To ensure that a permanent solution is in place to protect the long term health of the strike fund, the minimum monthly dues would return to the existing levels if the Strike and Defense Fund should ever decrease below $650 million. This increase would stay in place until the $850 million threshold is once again achieved.

  • Strike and Defense Fund balance as of Dec.31, 2017 =$ 721,348,348  *

ARTICLE 11 Salaries:

The salaries of the International President, International Secretary-Treasurer, International Vice Presidents and International Executive Board Members in full for services rendered by each of said officers shall be the following sums:

International President shall be paid 1.8 times the salary of International Representatives per annum.

International Secretary-Treasurer shall be paid 1.67 times the salary of International Representatives per annum.

International Vice Presidents shall be paid 1.62 times the salary of International Representatives per annum.

International Executive Board Members shall be paid 1.49 times the salary of International Representatives per annum.

Salaries shall be payable in biweekly installments.

  • The full salary for an International Representative is $111,476.15 per annum.


Listed below is the complete list of Articles of the Constitution that were changed during the Convention. For a detailed list of the changes, see a delegate or log onto


Article 2, section 2-Objects

Article 3- Constitution

Article 10, section 4- Officers and Elections

Article 11, sections1, 2, 3 and 8- Salaries

Article 16, sections 2, 5 and 33- Dues an Initiation fees

Article 26, section 2- Civil and Human Rights

Article 31, section 3- Trials of Members

Article 33, section 3(e) - Appeals


UAW President Gary Jones to convention delegates: We will embrace those values that make us strong


Newly elected UAW President Gary Jones addressed delegates on the closing day of the convention with a message of facing challenges with a clear vision, drawing from the strengths of the past and moving forward with “values that embrace education, health care, time for families, fraternity, a fair living wage and equality for all.”

Jones expressed gratitude for the support of his family, staff, and mentors, the International Executive Board, supporters and UAW members who paved the way for the path that led to his inauguration today as the union’s new leader.

And, his values, he explained, are a reflection of his strong upbringing, his faith and his commitment to the core values of the UAW.

“We are going to work hard to ensure that our UAW values are represented in everything that we do. Our team and this UAW will always look for the opportunities hidden in our challenges …and always do so with the clear vision of where we came from and who we are as a union,” Jones said.

He shared a poignant reminder of one of the union’s most famous victories. “When faced with bridges, we will remember standing on the overpass on Miller Road, Gate 4, in the Ford River Rouge complex,” he said. “If we are told to sit down, we will quietly remind them, as we pull on our white shirts, of how we once sat for a spell in Flint and in doing so, changed the world with the strength of our solidarity.”

“And when one of us is under attack, an army of red-shirted brothers and sisters will rise and say proudly, ‘what you do to one of us, you do to all of us.’ We are UAW … yesterday, today and tomorrow. Knowing who we are and knowing what the UAW is about could not be more important than it is today,” he emphasized.

In his final comments, Jones stressed the union’s unwavering core values.

“The UAW’s idea of a middle class has meant organized opposition to anti-union interests, wherever they may be. We will fight for our retirees, for our active members and for members to come. We will stand up for civil rights, for gender equality, and for families and workers everywhere. We have a history of right on our side.”


WE ARE UAW      

In closing we would like to thank the membership for the chance to serve you as elected delegates. We may not all agree with the changes and the new resolutions, but we must move forward in SOLIDARITY. Over the course of the week, many delegates argued and discussed the issues at hand. At the end of the convention, we all walked out in solidarity committed to building a stronger Union. God bless the UAW and God bless the USA! Thank you for being UAW! 

Please direct any further questions concerning the Constitutional Convention or delegate’s responsibilities to: 

Abel Creek, Delegate 

Valerie Hodgens, Delegate 

Bobby Jobe, Delegate 

Duane Simmerman, Alt. Delegate