Unite All Workers for Democracy, the reform caucus in the United Auto Workers, just won sweeping victories in leadership elections. Now they’re looking to transform the UAW, one of the largest unions in the country, into a democratic fighting machine.

by Chris Viola, Jacobin

“They’re trying to figure out how they can steal this one,” one of my coworkers said after I told her the news that the ballot count in the United Auto Workers (UAW) would be delayed by yet another week. “They” meaning the caucus that has held power in the UAW for the past seven decades, led by President Ray Curry. A week has passed since our conversation, and reform challenger Shawn Fain currently stands with a 505-vote lead, with only roughly six hundred unresolved challenged ballots. He is now the presumptive winner.

On Thursday, the Curry team sent out a press release filled with accusations of impropriety by the reformer campaign, including questioning the eligibility of recently elected Region 9 director Daniel Vicente and sounding the alarm about “disenfranchisement of UAW members.” These are odd claims — voters’ information was kept under the slapdash mailing address system the old guard has controlled for years — but it’s clear the incumbent Administration Caucus is fighting tooth and nail to hold onto office.

People holding signs take part in a protest at the University of California Los Angeles campus Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 in Los Angeles.

Vicente, a machine operator in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and his local’s secretary and education committee chair, is a member of the UAW Members United slate, a group endorsed by the rank-and-file caucus Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD). Five of their other candidates have already won their positions outright. Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock, Region 1 director LaShawn English, and Region 9A director Brandon Mancilla easily prevailed over their only opposition from the incumbent slate.

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