Proposal to Democratize United Auto Workers Elections Leads in Referendum Vote

A potentially consequential proposal to help democraticize voting within United Auto Workers (UAW), is on track for victory, with most regions’ votesAs of Tuesday afternoon, the count was taken.

The proposal, known as “one member, one vote,” would allow union members to vote directly for members of the 13-member UAW International Executive Board, which is responsible for overseeing the union with over 600 locals across eight regions. With approximately 35 percent of the votes countedThe margin of victory for election reform is 63 to 37%, or 26 percent.

For the past 70 yearsThe 400,000-member union has a delegate voting system, where members elect representatives to vote in elections. monitored convention. Critics of the system claim it has led to corruption in the union. It favors incumbent board members and those favored the Administration Caucus. one-party rule.

Advocates claim that the one member, single vote system could lead. a more diverseBoard with a system for checks and balances. Campaigners for the new voting style claim that it will produce more representative results and be more equitable for union members.

Sheila Kulkarni was a graduate worker at University of California. Sheila is a member of UAW, Santa Barbara Local 2865. Truthout that one member, one vote would be “a tremendous win for the entire UAW.”

“With the passage of direct elections, UAW has a chance to rebuild its fighting spirit and catch up to the resurging American labor movement,” they added.

Some supporters believe that reforming the voting system will bring about a new era for the union. The results so far show that members are “rejecting the behavior and practices of the entrenched political caucus and welcoming a new, unchartered territory to reshape the UAW into a viable union that we so desperately need,” said Frank Hammer, former president of UAW Local 909 and retired UAW-General Motors representative.

The referendum was held in the early part of this year. was mandatedA consent decree by the Department of JusticeAfter a federal investigation, 11 ranking officials, including 2 former union presidents, were found to have participated in embezzlement racketeering, bribery and other illegal activities. The union was awarded a certificate of appreciation. reputation of being rife with corruption. Last year, the Justice Department slammed the UAW for failing to “address the fraud, corruption, and illegality problem within its own ranks” in what may be one of the largest union scandals in U.S. history.

Officials and staff spent over a million dollars of the union’s money on luxuries like vacations in Palm Springs and cigars. Between 2009 and 2016Leadership also accepted bribes totaling over $3.5 million from Fiat ChryslerIt is possible to bargain with workers at a disadvantage.

Unite All Workers for Democracy, a proponent for reforming the voting system celebrated the results of Tuesday’s first day of tabulation. Vote tabulation began Monday and showed one member ahead by 40 points. 18 percent of votes were counted at the end of the day.

“This result shows that UAW members are ready to end our union’s one-party rule. We are charting a new course where we actually take on management, instead of giving them concession after concession,” said UAWD steering committee chair Scott Houldieson in a statement.

Advocates were also happy with the early results. “Lately, the current delegate system has helped fuel a lot of corruption within the UAW, where a small group has maintained power through intimidation and other unethical practices,” said Connor Gorman, a UAWD member and former trustee at UAW Local 2865, which represents students within the University of California system. “Switching to a direct voting system for the IEB is the first of many steps toward making the UAW a stronger, more militant, and more democratic union.”

The vote is coming at a crucial time for the labor movement. A strike wave ripplingAll across the country. The UAW, one the largest unions in the U.S. could see such a shift. a new eraAdvocates say the milestone is significant for the union and also marks a crucial moment in what appears to have been a momentous transformation for the labor movement.

Academic workers — who comprise about one-fifth of the union’s members — have been a strong organizing forceThe Hintergrund der drive for reform. Local 2865, the largest academic unit in the union, voted for one member and one vote with 80 percent of votes cast for the measure. As a result of a lackluster organization resource for students, many graduate student workers joined the UAW. a failureIndustrial unions are used to organize workers in their respective industries.