November 7, 2013 / 10:13 PM / 6 years ago

UAW leaders give nod to Williams as next potential president

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov 7 (Reuters) - Dennis Williams, the secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers, is the choice of the union’s leaders to be its next president, the UAW announced on Thursday.

Williams, 60, will stand for formal election at the UAW’s convention next June.

The UAW’s current president, Bob King, will not run for re-election, in keeping with the union’s practice of not allowing persons aged 65 and older to run for office.

Williams was selected by the union’s administrative caucus, which is also called the Reuther Caucus, named for the UAW’s president from 1946 to 1970. Since Walter Reuther became president, the UAW candidate endorsed by the administrative caucus has always gone on to win election as president.

The next president’s four-year term will be marked by potentially contentious contract talks with U.S. automakers, pressure to organize foreign-owned plants in the United States and to maintain members in “right-to-work” states.

Adding members will also be a priority. UAW membership has gained slightly under King’s leadership, but its numbers are down 31 percent since 2005.

Williams has been the secretary-treasurer of the union since 2010, and before that was based in Chicago as regional director for an area stretching from Illinois to Wyoming.

The rest of the slate is Gary Casteel, now regional director in the Southeast, as secretary-treasurer; incumbent vice presidents Cindy Estrada and Jimmy Settles; and regional director Norwood Jewell as vice president.

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