Dear UAW Member,
Great news! UAW members across the West Coast have been pushing for the formation of a West Coast UAW Region to strengthen and democratize our union, and yesterday we won.
What happened? Last night, the UAW International Executive Board (IEB) announced the creation of a new region of the UAW based in the West Coast — including UAW Local union chapters in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, and Alaska. Yesterday’s vote comes after years of UAW members and Locals along the West Coast organizing to push for the re-establishment of the region as a critical measure for increasing accountability and reform within the UAW. It also comes as a result of massive new organizing and progressive wins throughout the West Coast — including 17,000 Student Researchers at the University of California, 1,500 Research Scientists here at UW, and more.
What does this mean? This decision marks a historic moment in our own Local’s ongoing work to increase organizing, membership engagement, and democratic practices within the UAW. With this smaller region, UAW 4121 members — and other UAW members across the West Coast — now have a stronger voice in shaping a regional organizing agenda and the overall direction of our international union. We will now have greater power to support non-unionized workers in forming unions, win ambitious contract campaigns across sectors, achieve progressive electoral reforms, and more.
What’s the history? As we’ve previously written, our Local (UAW 4121) was once part of the 17-state Region 5, the massive size of which enabled corruption to go undetected by members. Smaller regions like our new region enable much stronger membership decision-making and oversight, alongside other ongoing reform efforts. We have also repeatedly made this call alongside the vast majority of West Coast Locals across sectors (read letters from January 2020, February 2020, and earlier this month).
What’s next? The new West Coast Region will be officially formed at the July 2022 Constitutional Convention. The election for the region’s director will occur shortly thereafter through the new direct election system — which members voted overwhelmingly in favor of this fall — in the same way as other IEB positions.