Williams was elected UAW president in June 2014 at the union’s
36th Constitutional Convention. Williams previously served as
the union’s secretary-treasurer, elected at the UAW’s 35th
Constitutional Convention in June 2010.
As secretary-treasurer, Williams was part of developing a
long-term strategy for the union, supporting the membership and
organizing the foreign-owned automakers in the United States.
Williams was instrumental in turning around the relationship
with Navistar Inc., bringing major investments into UAW
facilities as well as organizing the Tulsa Bus plant.
His union experience has carried him through the many diverse
sectors of the UAW, giving him broad knowledge and understanding
that few ever have a chance to accomplish. Williams, a United
States Marine Corp veteran, joined UAW Local 806 in 1977 at J.I.
Case where he was a salvage welder. He was elected to the
bargaining committee and as chairman.
In 1988, Williams was appointed as an International
representative and assigned to the National Organizing
Department. Besides organizing, his assignments included
negotiating the first contract at Mitsubishi Motors North
America in Bloomington, Ill. He also assisted in organizing
Indiana state employees. He spent 2 1/2 years assisting members
of Local 844 in Vermont, Ill., obtain a first contract. This
worker justice campaign involved legal action and extensive
mobilization of union members and community allies.
In 1992, Region 4 Director Bill Stewart assigned Williams to
service locals in various sectors throughout the region,
including Agricultural Implements, Independent Parts and
Supplier (IPS), and Technical, Office and Professional (TOP). He
also assisted in the negotiation and servicing of several
national agreements, including J.I.Case. In June 1995, Williams
was appointed as the assistant director of Region 4 by Regional
Director Paul Korman, where he served until his election as
In 2001, he was elected UAW Region 4 Director at a special
convention. He was re-elected in June 2002 and in June 2006 at
the UAW Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas. Region 4
includes Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North
Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Voice for All
its founding in 1935, the UAW has consistently developed
innovative partnerships with employers and negotiated
industry-leading wages and benefits for its members. Members
have benefited from a number of collective bargaining
breakthroughs, including: (1) the first employer-paid health
insurance plan for industrial workers; (2) the first
cost-of-living allowances; (3) a pioneering role in product
quality improvements; (4) landmark job and income security
provisions; and, (5) comprehensive training and educational
As impressive as it is, the UAW’s success record at the
bargaining table is only part of the story. From its earliest
days, the UAW has been a leader in the struggle to secure
economic and social justice for all people. The UAW has been
actively involved in every civil rights legislative battle
since the 1950s, including the campaigns to pass the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair
Housing Act, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 and
legislation to prohibit discrimination against women, the
elderly and people with disabilities.
The UAW also has played a vital role in passing such landmark
legislation as Medicare and Medicaid, the Occupational Safety
and Health Act, the Employee Retirement Act and the Family and
Medical Leave Act. In Washington and state capitols, the UAW
fights for better schools for kids, secure health care and
pensions for retirees, clean air and water, tougher workplace
health and safety standards, stronger worker's compensation
and unemployment insurance laws and fairer taxes.
The UAW’s commitment to improve the fives of working men and
women extends beyond America's borders to encompass people
around the globe. Through vigilant political involvement and
coordination with world labor organizations, the UAW continues
to fight for enforcement of trade agreement provisions on
human and worker rights, fair labor standards and a new
approach to international trade–one that raises the quality of
life for working people worldwide.
International Union, UAW, 8000 E. Jefferson Avenue, Detroit,
MI 48214 (Telephone: 313.926.5000)