Biographical sketch of UAW Vice
President Terry Thurman
Terry Thurman was elected a vice president
of the UAW on June 14, 2006 at the 34th UAW Constitutional Convention
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Thurman has served on the union’s International Executive Board
since June 1998, when he was elected to the first
of his two terms as director of UAW Region 3, which covers Indiana and
As Region 3 director, Thurman has represented UAW members in every sector
of the union in collective bargaining, political action and community
An innovative bargainer, Thurman negotiated some of the UAW’s
first card-check and neutrality agreements. As regional director, he
also earned a reputation for never backing away from tough fights. When
automotive parts supplier Delco Remy America closed its Anderson, Indiana,
plant in 2003 and refused to pay 350 workers the Supplemental Unemployment
Benefits (SUB) as provided by the contract, Thurman led the fight that
resulted in the company agreeing in January 2006 to pay the workers
$5.25 million. He also led the nearly eight-year struggle for a first
contract for UAW members at Duffy Tool & Stamping in Muncie, Indiana.
Thurman’s commitment to the UAW’s tradition of community
service is reflected is his creation of the Director’s Charitable
Fund, a non-profit organization that has helped raise more than $350,000
for the children’s charity, Make-A-Wish.
He also started the UAW Region 3 Annual Diversity Dinner and Awards
program, which recognizes UAW members and non-members through the James
Smith Diversity Award for their commitment to equality, tolerance and
Thurman was appointed to the staff of the UAW in August 1986, when he
was assigned to help negotiate contracts, handle arbitration cases,
conduct education classes and otherwise service local unions in Indiana
and Kentucky. In 1995, he became the region’s Community Action
Program (CAP) representative; CAP is the political action arm of the
Thurman has been a UAW member since 1978 when he joined UAW Local 440
at the GM Powertrain facility in Bedford, Indiana. His union activism
and leadership abilities led to many appointed and elected positions
in the local, including alternate committeeperson, committeeperson and,
in 1984, president of Local 440. He also served as an officer of GM
Subcouncil 5 and was chair of the Region 3 GM Shop Committee Council.
Interested in politics since his youth, Thurman received a B.A. degree
in Political Science from Indiana University in 1973. He has worked
in numerous campaigns in Indiana and Kentucky, and has served as a Democratic
Party county chairperson, a member of the Democratic National Committee
and as a delegate to state and national Democratic Party conventions.
Thurman has received numerous awards, including Sagamore of the Wabash,
Indiana’s highest honor; Kentucky Colonel; the Indiana Trial Lawyers’
Hoosier Freedom Award; and awards from the NAACP, the Coalition of Black
Trade Unionists and the A. Philip Randolph Institute.
Terry and his wife Connie, a UAW member and CAP representative for Region
3, have three grandchildren.
Thurman was born in Bedford, Indiana, on July 19, 1950.