Hot Union Summer! June/July Newsletter

June and July have set off a momentous Hot Union Summer in Region 6! Thanks to the active engagement of thousands of workers across the region, a renewed, fighting labor movement is on the rise. Across the Western States, union members have been taking mass action to demand – and win – the structural changes working people need and deserve. Region 6 members have taken major action, including massive wins in organizing at Western Washington University and RAND/Pardee, decisive strike victories at University of Washington, mass mobilization to fight retaliation at University of California, ramping up for Big 3 bargaining, growing skills & member particiption at Summer School, kicking off the first-ever Region 6 organizer training program, and much more. And none of this work to build solidarity and power is in isolation: In just the past few months, a ton of bold labor action has escalated in Region 6: thousands of UNITE HERE Local 11 hotel workers striking in LA, writers and actors of WGA and SAG-AFTRA continuing their historic strikes, Teamsters nationally building a massive strike threat, and more.

As with everything we do as a union and a labor movement, what we’re able to achieve is a direct function of how many members are actively participating to build power at every level. Keep reading to learn more about ongoing work and how you can plug in!

Summer School Recap: Growing a Fighting Region 6

In June, 200 members from all corners of the Western States came together for our first Summer School as a reconstituted Region 6 was a huge success! Over the course of a week, members from all sectors of the region came together for a packed schedule of participatory workshops and programs to build skills, learn from each other, and develop strategic plans – all directed towards developing more & more powerful work at the local and regional levels going forward. 

In multi-day classes, members took a deep dive on core topics of union work, including building member participation for successful contract campaigns, taking on the boss at the bargaining table, supporting the leadership development of coworkers, and more. Through a variety of workshops, members focused on concrete skills to take back to their Locals, such as 1-to-1s and Hard Convos, "Close Reading" of Your Contract, Power Analysis and Understanding Leverage, Roberts Rules, and Storytelling for Building Power. The week concluded with day-long strategy sessions, where members collaboratively developed action plans on a number of areas: 

  • Big 3 strike readiness and regional coordination
  • New organizing to grow our movement across multiple key sectors
  • Region 6 storytelling and strategic communications
  • Building a proactive political program & plan for the 2024 election cycle 
  • Organizing to ensure the implementation of UC contracts & fight retaliation
  • Building a member-led movement to fight climate change and create high quality green jobs 

The skills, plans, and connections members developed together during Summer School can’t be limited to once a year! Many members discussed ideas for sharing and recreating workshops and sessions from Summer School at their Locals, and expanding union education work in general across the region. Stemming from this, we will be starting a Region 6 Education Committee – fill out this form to join the first meeting in August. 

New Organizing

  1. Last week, the union election for Graduate Student Researchers at the RAND/PARDEE GRADUATE SCHOOL concluded, with workers voting by a margin of 2-1 to form their union!
  2. After months & countless hours of worker-led organizing (including to pass a state law for bargaining rights) 1100 Educational Student Employees at WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY voted 98% YES to form their union.
  3. Graduate Workers at UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA won a major victory with the state labor board ruling in their favor on unit definition issues, and are moving towards having a union election in the fall. 
  4. The first-ever OUR LABOR, OUR MOVEMENT organizer training program kicked off at Summer School, with an incredible cohort of 16 new organizers jumping into campaigns across the region in higher ed, aerospace, auto/EV, and gaming.

Bargaining Campaigns

  1. After 9 days of striking, LOCAL 4121 Postdocs at Research Scientists/Engineers (RSEs) at University of Washington won substantial gains in bargaining, and went on to ratify contracts with 99% support in both units. Through building power across both units; mobilizing massive community & political support; and launching daily direct actions; both Postdocs and RSEs won major wage increases as well as concrete improvements on racial/gender equity.
  2. Big 3 bargaining is officially underway! The Big Three automakers collectively made a quarter of a TRILLION dollars in North American profits over the last 10 years – all because of UAW members who make the companies run. LOCALS 76, 230, 492, 509, 2162, and 6645 are building member engagement and plans to win contracts that match what members deserve – including on COLA, ending tiers, raises for all, & more. Big 3 members - sign on now to help build power to win! 
  3. LOCAL 179 members won a strong new contract, and workers at the CALIFORNIA IMMIGRANT POLICY CENTER won their first contract after a resounding strike authorization vote. 
  4. Graduate Student Workers at UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA packed the bargaining room in June to demonstrate support for three equity-related proposals. 
  5. Academic Student Employees at WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY continue bargaining for their first contract and collectively developing plans to escalate to win. 
  6. Members of LOCAL 4123 continue building momentum for their contract campaign, and rallied earlier this month alongside other campus unions. 
  7. Dealers, Slot Attendants, and other casino workers of LOCAL 3555 are ramping up for bargaining new contracts at multiple properties in Las Vegas.

Support UC Academic Workers Fighting Retaliation

After agreeing to contracts with UAW Academic Workers of LOCALS 2865 & 5810 last December, University of California admin has since refused to implement a number of key provisions, including wage increases, anti-bullying protections, and appointment length provisions. Not only that – admin has also been retaliating against workers’ efforts to enforce their rights, and in late June, University of California Police arrested 3 workers on felony charges and confiscated their possessions for allegedly writing messages like 'Living Wage Now' in washable chalk. 

Members of Local 2865 and 5810 and community supporters have been taking mass action to fight back, demanding that the Regents drop the charges and fully implement the contracts. At the Regents meeting in July, around 400 workers joined two picket lines and a rally to make it clear to UC’s leadership that workers won’t stand for intimidation and bogus charges. 

Please take a moment now to show UC admin that the full solidarity of Region 6 is behind UC Academic Workers in this critical fight – sign and share the petition today!

Political & Community Action

  1. The California Picket Line Protection bill (AB 504) continues making progress through the Senate, passing both the Senate Labor Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee this month. 
  2. UAW Western States endorsements for primary elections in Washington state are out! These candidates have been vetted and democratically endorsed by fellow members because of their support for workers' issues. Ballots are due tomorrow, August 1! 
  3. On the 51st Anniversary of Title IX, UAW joined with 75 gender justice & civil rights organizations to demand the immediate implementation of a new rule that would expand protections and reverse the rollbacks of the Trump/DeVos administration.

Message from Region 6 Director Mike Miller

Dear Region 6 Family,

A warm welcome to the RAND/Pardee Grad Workers who voted decisively to join the Region 6 family in July! That’s 3 labor board election victories covering 4,500 workers already in 2023 in Region 6. If you know workers thinking about forming unions, please let us know.

Thanks to all who attended Summer School! I learned a lot from the amazing delegates from all across the Region and look forward to working hard with all of you in the coming months to realize the goals and plans we all made to make a more democratic, just, and sustainable world.

Finally, stay tuned for updates as Auto negotiations ramp up. President Fain; Vice Presidents Booth, Boyer, and Browinging; and the elected National Negotiating Committees are doing a great job involving members in bargaining in new and creative ways, and of putting the Auto companies on notice that UAW members deserve and are prepared to fight to win fair and righteous contracts that justly reflect the invaluable contributions they make to driving those companies’ dramatic profits. 

As always, if you have questions or feedback, please shoot me an email.


Across the Labor Movement

  1. Postdocs at Columbia University and Mount Sinai held simultaneous mass rallies demanding fair contracts and voting to launch strike authorization votes. 
  2. Workers who make electric vehicle batteries for Ultium Cells released an important report about low wages and dangerous working conditions that threaten the EV transition. 
  3. Thousands of hotel workers of UNITE HERE Local 11 in California continue their strike for fair contracts.  
  4. After years of organizing, Grad Workers at Northeastern University have finally secured dates for their union election, coming up in September! 
  5. Fellows at NIH filed authorization cards to form a union, and continue organizing to urge management to agree to a union election. Check out the solidarity letter from Locals 2865, 4121, 5810, and 4100.  
  6. ​​Locals 2865 and 5810 released a letter in solidarity with Teamsters Local 683 in their unfair labor practices strike.  
  7. Region 6, Local 2865, and Local 5810 led a fundraiser to help mitigate the crisis at the border, and donated over $7000 to Jardín de las Mariposas, a shelter that helps LGBTQ communities displaced from their homes. 
  8. Mount Sinai Student Workers filed union authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board with over 80% majority support.

Upcoming Events & Conferences

  1. The A. Philip Randolph Institute’s 52nd National Education Conference will be August 9-13, 2023, at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. Contact your Local for information and to register. 
  2. The 60th Anniversary of The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom will be on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. UAW members from across the country will be joining together. Registration and information for the march can be found at:
  3. The 37th Annual UAW Civil and Human Rights Conference, September 24 to September 29, at the UAW Family Education Center in Onaway, Michigan. Registration due August 25. Contact your Local to apply.  
  4. For more upcoming events & meetings, check out the Region 6 Calendar.

Stay connected!

For regular updates and information, check out Region 6 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Threads (@uawregion6), and our website. Emerging out of the Summer School strategy sessions, members are re-convening the Region 6 Communications Committee, open to all members who are interested in helping with Region 6 communications work on an ongoing basis. To join our first meeting in August, fill out this short form