Detroit News: Marick Masters on UAW election results

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Consider this: Not a single establishment candidate won outright in any of the contested races for positions on the Detroit-based union's International Executive Board. Instead, opposition candidates effectively broke the grip that the powerful Reuther Administrative Caucus has had on the UAW's top leadership ranks for more than 70 years, ushering in a new era for the union as it sits at a critical juncture. The looming leadership changeover comes as the UAW attempts to move past a landmark corruption scandal, broadens its membership in sectors like higher education, and grapples with the uncertain future of its core membership base — autoworkers — in the industry's transition to electric vehicles. The dissident candidates who are poised to take over key leadership positions promise to take more aggressive postures against the companies whose workers the union represents. The final shakeout from the election remains to be seen, as three races — including for the presidency — head to a runoff that starts in January. Unopposed establishment candidates hung on to five out of 14 IEB positions. Still, the results were historic. Marick Masters, a Wayne State University management professor focused on labor issues, said the strength of reform efforts only would increase if Fain, of UAW Members United, is victorious in the runoff against Curry. “You would potentially have a sea change in the UAW,” said Masters, noting there could be shifts in personnel practice, budgeting, allocation of resources and militancy in organizing and at the bargaining table.

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