UAW Votes for Direct Elections

More than 60% of voters were in favor of “one member, one vote.” The vote for change comes as a small number of members participate in referendum.

More than 140,000 of the UAW’s nearly 1 million active and retired members voted in a court-ordered referendum. The vote is one requirement of a settlement between the union and the government after a corruption scandal led to more than a dozen convictions for union leaders and auto company executives.

Neil Barofsky, the monitor appointed to oversee union operations for three years, reports more than 60% of the votes were in favor of direct elections of union leadership. The UAW International Executive Board has always been elected through a delegate system that critics say led directly to corruption.

Barofsky says the count is unofficial until approved by the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards and certified by the court. Once the court validates the vote, the monitor will work with the UAW to amend its Constitution to include direct voting and develop rules for elections.

The monitor says the UAW’s president, secretary-treasurer, vice presidents and regional directors may be elected under the new rules in the summer or fall of 2022.

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.