UAW convention sees change, but establishment power remains

Curry and other leadership candidates backed by the Reuther caucus had widespread support among most delegates and convention attendees, even after a recent report by the Federal Monitor said he had recently refused to cooperate with the ongoing ethical investigation.

Attendees said they appreciate Curry’s history with the union and that he is both friendly and approachable.

“If you stop him, he’ll give you a few seconds of his time, and he’ll always smile,” Bowen said.

Christopher Dilbert Jr., who works at Ford Motor Company’s engine plant in Romeo, Michigan, said he expects Curry and other current board members to win the new terms.

“It is unfair for them to be judged on the basis of past misdeeds,” he said. “Give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes, in my opinion.”

Trey Durant, shop president for local 1178 at a Mopar parts distribution facility in suburban Chicago, said he supports Curry and the current leadership. Durant believes that the union now has better defenses against corruption.

“Even the people in the office know that there is a lot of watch on it from inside and outside,” he said. “Whistleblowers are out there. People are more observant. And I think they’re more afraid to do things of that nature because of the consequences of losing their jobs or going to jail. I think we’re in the right place.”

Vince Bond Jr. and Hannah Lutz contributed to this report.

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