The 2023 UAW Special Bargaining Convention was held this week in Detroit—here’s what happened. For more detailed information, check out UAWD’s Convention HQ or follow along on Twitter.

Resolutions Committee Report

Before the convention, all Locals were invited to submit resolutions for consideration by the committee by February 13. At registration on Sunday afternoon, convention delegates received copies of the Resolutions Committee Report.

In its report, the Resolutions Committee recommended which of the resolutions submitted by Locals that delegates should pass. The report can be amended or added to by delegates at convention, but only resolutions submitted in advance by Locals can be considered.

Prioritizing Additional Resolutions

On Sunday night before the Bargaining Convention, UAWD members voted on our top priorities for additional resolutions to bring to the convention floor for consideration beyond what was in the report. First, members decided that the report’s language on rejecting tiers and expanding health care coverage to include reproductive health care was strong.

However, members voted to prioritize bringing additional resolutions on the following subjects to strengthen the report:

  1. Renew Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) Wage Adjustments
  2. Effective Membership Strike Preparation
  3. Build Student Worker Solidarity and Strategy
  4. No Electric Vehicle Tiers
  5. Shorter Workweek with No Loss in Pay
  6. Honor Picket Lines
  7. Defined Benefit Pensions
  8. End Cross Border Whipsawing

Members also voted to support the following additional resolutions if they were brought to the floor:

Rules Committee Report

Convention opened Monday morning. First, the Rules Committee Report was introduced, which governs the rules of debate. Delegates proposed amendments to raise the voting threshold required to end debate and lower the voting threshold to bring resolutions out of committee to the floor. However, neither passed, even with the support of all UAWD delegates.

What Happened to UAWD Priority Resolutions?

On Monday afternoon, delegates cleared the 15% threshold of votes needed to bring a resolution out of committee for debate for the Resolution to Renew COLA Wage Adjustments Across All Sectors, one of UAWD’s priority resolutions. Although the Resolutions Committee Report did mention COLA (only once on page 12), UAWD supported this resolution to prioritize reinstating COLA as an initial demand in contract negotiations. Unfortunately, despite the support of all UAWD delegates and many others, the resolution did not pass.

On Tuesday morning, delegates attempted to introduce the Resolution on Effective Membership Strike Preparation. The resolution called for launching a campaign to prepare our membership to strike, while the Resolutions Committee Report only mentioned the word “strike” in connection with UAW members twice in 53 pages. Despite the support of all UAWD delegates, the resolution fell just ten delegates short of the meeting the 15% threshold to pull the resolution out of committee for consideration.

On Tuesday afternoon, delegates also attempted to introduce the Resolution to Reject Electric Vehicle Tiers. The resolution called for bringing all new EV plants under the UAW master agreement and rejecting the creation of new EV tiers. Again, despite the support of all UAWD delegates, the resolution fell just four delegates short of meeting the threshold to be pulled out of committee.

But on Wednesday morning, delegates voted to consider and ultimately passed the Resolution to Honor Picket Lines, calling on the UAW to bargain for language allowing members to respect picket lines. And later on Wednesday afternoon, delegates also voted to pass the Resolution to Build Student Worker Solidarity, which called for inclusive units, wall-to-wall unions, and strong sectoral strategy in higher ed.

After those two victories for UAWD priorities, the rest of the Resolutions Committee Report was accepted as amended. UAWD delegates also supported a successful proposed amendment to the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship resolution to restore lost skilled trades classifications.

What’s Next?

UAWD is committed to building strong contract campaigns in 2023, including fighting for COLA, rejecting tiers, preparing for strikes, and more. Join our Organizing Committee to get involved!