FLINT (WJRT) (2/13/2020) - A veteran United Auto Workers official from the General Motors Flint Assembly plant has been named union director for most of Michigan.
UAW delegates selected Region 1D Assistant Director Steve Dawes to succeed Gerald Kariem as the region's director. Kariem became a UAW vice president in January, opening the regional position.
Dawes, a spot welder at Flint Assembly who was named assistant director in 2010, will lead the union's efforts in 73 Michigan counties.
“Brother Dawes brings to the table vast experience in contract negotiations and a deep understanding of the region,” said UAW President Rory Gamble.
Dawes, who has worked for GM since 1978, helped develop the UAW Sitdown Strike Memorial in Flint.
“Every time I pull into the Regional Office, I have a living reminder of the sacrifice, solidarity, tenacity and guts that impacts our contracts and our standard of living today,” said Dawes.
He called his selection an honor representing the Flint area, where the Sitdown Strike took place and cemented the UAW's place in the auto industry.
“It is a legacy and responsibility we will bring to every contract negotiation,” Dawes said.