Another reform candidate wins UAW runoff election

Another reform candidate, the sixth out of seven, has won a United Auto Workers International Executive Board election while votes continue to be tallied for the hotly contested presidential race.

UAW Members United member Daniel Vicente has won the race for UAW Region 9 Director in the historic first direct election of international board members.

Auto Workers voted in a referendum for a new “One Member, One Vote” policy after a corruption scandal that resulted in the convictions of 15 people, including former UAW presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, on charges that included taking bribes and embezzling more than $1 million in union funds.

According to a preliminary tally of runoff votes, Vicente will become the sixth candidate from the seven-member UAW Members United reform slate to be elected to the international board following the initial election last fall. The challengers have said they would not take kickbacks, protect jobs, stand up to management, refuse concessions, ensure pensions and end tiers in which workers are paid different wages to do the same job depending on when they’re hired.

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He is a machine operator at the marine parts supplier Dometic. He also serves as recording secretary of Local 644 in Pennsylvania and also serves as vice chair of the bargaining committee, education chair and a delegate to the Constitution Convention last year.

He defeated Administration Caucus member Lauren Farrell to represent UAW Region 9 in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and western New York.

“I am deeply honored to have been elected to serve the members of our union. From the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with rank-and-file members across Region 9, it is clear there is a deep hunger for change and for fighting to win back what we’ve given away to the companies. A new day is dawning for the UAW and the working class,” Vicente said..

Votes are still being counted for the international vice president and president. Reform candidate Shawn Fain, who originally joined the UAW at an auto plant in Kokomo, is challenging incumember Ray Curry, who represents the long-ruling administration caucus but took over after the corruption scandal cleared house.

The winners of the runoff election will lead the UAW, which represents thousands of workers at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant on the far South Side, the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights and the Lear seat-making factory in Hammond. The ballots are now being tallied in Dayon, Ohio.