DETROIT (WWJ) – The United Auto Workers Union has a new president. Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams was elected to the top job by delegates to the union’s convention at Cobo Center.
“It’s humbling,” said Williams, right after the vote. “I’m excited for our union. I feel the energy and the power of our unity. I’m looking forward to the challenges we have.”
Williams said the challenges include the 2015 contract talks with the Detroit Three auto companies, as well as political action.
“We got a huge imbalance in this society, and we plan on taking on that fight.”
Williams easily defeating UAW Local 600 member Gary Walkowitz by a 3215-49 margin. Walkowitz, who also ran unsuccessfully in 2010, called on rejecting all concessions, and taking a tougher line in contract talks
Delegates to the convention, like Chad Pointer from Kentucky, say they saw Williams as a better choice for making gains in next years contract talks.
“Dennis Williams is going to fight and get some of the things we’ve lost over the last few years back.”
Williams declined to talk about specific issues following his election, telling reporters he will address those questions after he’s formally inaugurated Thursday morning.
Delegates elected Gary Casteel to replace Williams as UAW Secretary-Treasurer. The three Vice Presidents who will lead the teams in next years contract talks are Cindy Estrada, Jimmy Settles and Norwood Jewell.
All four ran unopposed.