Hello everyone! I thought I would add an update in this month’s newsletter regarding UAW leadership changes that will be forthcoming.
In late November, cherry picked UAW leaders from around the country flew into Detroit to select what’s known as “The Reuther Caucus” slate at the national headquarters, Solidarity House at the request of International. The caucus, which UAW Local 74 was not invited to attend, gives itself the most power in the organization. Delegates to the UAW Constitutional Convention vote in new leadership but for the past seven decades, the Reuther Caucus’s nominee has won election as union president. The caucus also customarily determines the other winners elected at the Constitutional Conventions held every four years.
The Reuther Caucus slate is topped with UAW Region 5 director, Gary Jones, as the pick for president succeeding the retiring Dennis Williams. UAW President Dennis Williams was elected in 2014 and will turn 65 in 2018, which would bar him from re-election. Jones is joined on the slate by current UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel, who is seeking re-election. Also worth noting is Region 9’s Terry Dittes has been slated by the caucus as Vice President of Ag Imp. Dittes is currently serving as interim VP until the constitutional convention in June. Former Ag Imp VP, Norwood Jewell, retired at the end of 2017.
In our Region 4 news, Shop Chair Toby Munley and I were invited and attended the region’s leadership conference at the beginning of January at the regional headquarters in Lincolnshire, Illinois. A Reuther Caucus was held at the conference and current Region 4 Director, Ron McInroy, was selected to be our nominee for director at the convention in Detroit. I look forward to working with Director McInroy in the future to improve democratic process in our union and to help get policy makers elected to office that actually stand with labor.

In solidarity,
Chris Laursen
President UAW Local 74