United Auto Workers Elects New President, Increases Union Dues - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

United Auto Workers Elects New President, Increases Union Dues

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(WLNS) – There are big changes for the United Auto Workers, after it was announced they have a new president.

The news came Wednesday, at the 36th Constitutional Convention, which is held in Detroit every four years.

But 6 News Joe Khalil tells us that's the only new big change coming for members.

For the first time in nearly half a century members of the U.A.W., one of the world's most influential unions, have been asked to pay a little more for their membership.

"The right to be union is under attack from the anti-union forces,” said Jorge Rodrigues, U.A.W.

Jorge Rodriguez, a U.A.W. bargaining chairman, says most members understand the increase is necessary for the U.A.W. to stay competitive.

The increase means union members will have to give up two and a half hours of their pay every month, instead of just two, which Rodriguez calls a reasonable increase.

"My reaction was good because I understand that as a member, that's part of the goal we're trying to achieve, to have resources available."

Rodriguez says U.A.W. resources aren't what they used to be. The union’s most recent report shows its fund balance is at its lowest levels since 1983.

"And it's more than just money; the U.A.W.’s membership has been decreasing every year for decades. At one time more than a million people, now, less than 400,000."

In an ever-changing work environment in which union membership may not be as attractive as it once was, new president Dennis Williams, elected Wednesday, faces serious challenges both here in Michigan and internationally.
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