July 27, 2022

38th International Union Constitutional Convention Day Three Report
By Region 8 Webmaster John Davis

The 38th International Union Constitutional Convention was called to order at 9:00 AM Wednesday July 27, 2022 by President Ray Curry. Renford Whynes of Local 2377 gave the morning invocation as the day began.

The Credentials Committee gave their final report of the convention.

A point of order was called to pull a resolution out of committee. The resolution dealt with creating absentee balloting for local union elections. Debate ensued concerning the pros and cons of the proposal. At the end of the debate the point of order failed to pass.

 Next Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed the delegates. “The story of the UAW mirrors the story of Michigan,” Governor Whitmer stated. “Michigan put the world on wheels, and it was UAW members who built those wheels and the middle class. In the past couple years, the Big Three have dedicated $12,000,000,000 toward retooling facilities to build the vehicles of the future. We have fought with our partners in the UAW to make sure those vehicles are built by union workers with union wages.

Manufacturing in America is crucial to our economy. The recent issue of chips is a prime example of this. We see vehicles parked everywhere waiting chips, due to disruptions in the global supply chain. We have to return manufacturing to this country. As we transition to electric vehicles the need for chips will be greater. I promise you I will always stand for workers and with an army to back me we will give workers a voice at the table. Thank you to UAW members for being my army."

The next speaker of the morning was Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. Secretary Walsh is the former Mayor of Boston and a card-carrying union member. The son of immigrants, Walsh watched his parents not only belong to unions but also be active in their locals. “It is great to be here today with you among my labor family,” Secretary Walsh states. “You have built this country and now you are rebuilding it. The recent chip issue has brought home the point of how important domestic manufacturing is.

Currently we are making infrastructure improvements for the transition of the automotive market. Every tax dollar spent needs to be spent on products made by American workers and we had an executive order that decreed that. Currently we are working on a bill to get chip manufacturing back in America.

Our workers are currently feeling the pinch of inflation as a result of the world wide supply chain issues due to the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine. Gas prices are coming down but we still need more help on them.

It is ironic that this week is Made in America Week, but I know for the UAW EVERY WEEK is made in America Week. The UAW has led the way in supporting and defending America’s workers.

It is my honor and privilege to go to work every day and defend America’s workers. America’s workers deserve the right to organize. You deserve dignity on the job. You deserve a living wage and health care. Together we can write the next chapter of the American Labor Movement.” Click Here To Watch A Video Of Secretary Walsh's Speech

The Resolutions Committee presented a resolution to strengthen and build on our support of Women’s Issues in the workplace and to protect the rights of all our members. After debate, the resolution was passed.

Following Secretary Walsh’s address, a point of order was called to pull a resolution to the floor concerning the use interest from the strike fund in the general fund. In 2014 and 2018 delegates to the constitutional convention authorized the use of a portion of the interest from the strike fund on organizing. After much debate, the motion was made and passed to table the resolution until information could be gathered from the Secretary Treasurer’s office.

The convention then paused to pay tribute to retiring members of the International Executive Board. Vice President Terry Dittes and Cindy Estrada, as well as Region 4 Director Ron McInroy, Region 9 Director Jeff Binz and our own Region 8 Director Mitchell Smith. Former UAW Ford Vice President and Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem and UAW President Rory Gamble who both retired since the 2018 Constitutional Convention were also honored.

UAW Region 8 Director Mitchell Smith has served Region 8 with honor and distinction for the past four years. In addition to the usual work of a regional director, Mitchell Smith also navigated the addition of nine new states to the region with the dissolving of Region 5.  Mitchell Smith is a member of UAW Local 882 in Atlanta, Georgia. Mitchell and his wife Charmaine have four children and one grandson. Mitch will officially retire in December and we wish him our best in his retirement. Click Here To Watch The Tribute Video of UAW Region 8 Director Mitchell Smith

Next the convention body recognized retired UAW President’s Ron Gettelfinger and Rory Gamble were awarded the title UAW President Emeritus. Both President Gettelfinger and President Gamble accepted the honor.

The last item on the agenda was the nomination of candidates for the International Executive Board. The nominations for regional directors were made at break out meetings for each region afterwards.

Candidates for UAW IEB Offices in the order in which they were nominated:

Ray Curry
Brian Keller
James Coakley
Shawn Fain
Mark Gibson
Will Leman
John Guinan

Secretary Treasurer
Margaret Mock
Frank Stuglin
Todd Palezah

Vice President
Sharon Bell
Mike Turner
Chuck Browning
Brian Czape
Rich Letourneau
Bryan Price
Tim Bressler
Rich Bauer
Tony Candela
Mike Booth




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