The United Auto Workers executive board tapped Ray Curry to succeed Rory Gamble as President of the United Auto Workers starting July 1.
Curry, 55, will serve out the remainder of Gamble’s term, which expires at the UAW’s next constitutional convention tentatively scheduled for June 2022. Curry has been a member of the union’s executive board since 2014 and was elected to serve as the union’s secretary-treasurer, the union’s number two office, in June 2018.
While he was elected secretary-treasurer on a slate headed by now disgraced UAW president Gary Jones, Curry was never implicated in the scandal that led to prison sentences for a dozen UAW officers and staff members since 2017.
Another new face in top spot
“The elected leadership of the entire International Executive Board has been tasked to build, grow and strengthen our union and take the next exciting steps for our members and the working men and women of this nation,” said Curry in a statement.
“There is much to be done. It is time to put our nose to the grindstone in Solidarity and lead this union into a future of new possibilities,” he added.
Curry stressed there are significant challenges ahead but underscored the union is in a strong position to meet them.
“Industry is at a crossroads right now with massive changes in new innovative technologies,” he said. “It will be up to us to navigate through this monumental shift in mobility and manufacturing.
“And certainly, our priority — and my priority — is to grow our membership across all sectors, and new sectors, including gaming, higher education, public health, parts suppliers and auto transnationals. Whether in Charleston, South Carolina, Alabama, New York, or California, these workers and educators all deserve a voice in the workplace, and it is our duty to make that happen.”
Already involved in systemic change
A North Carolina native, Curry worked as an assembler at Freightliner Trucks in Mount Holly, North Carolina before being hired to the UAW staff in 2004. He has served on the UAW executive board for the past seven years, after he was elected Regional Director of UAW Region 8.
Curry is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a B.S. in Business Administration/Finance and an MBA from the University of Alabama. He served three years on active duty in the U.S. Army and five years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Working with Gamble, Curry’s helped try to tighten up the union’s financial reporting and record keeping, which was easily manipulated by Jones and other union officials during the scandal. He is currently responsible for negotiations with Volvo Truck where UAW members are now on strike. Union members at the plant in Dublin, Virginia have twice rejected by overwhelming margins tentative contracts brought to them by the negotiating team headed by Curry, leaving the increasingly bitter dispute deadlocked.