Sept/Oct Newsletter: Big 3, Alaska Election, Strike Votes, & more

In September and October, members have been organizing tirelessly, and throughout the Region we’re winning historic victories – from record tentative agreements in the Big 3, to the overwhelming election win at the University of Alaska, to fighting campaigns for first contracts at USC and WSU, and much more. Workers in Region 6 are showing that when we build solidarity and mass collective action across sectors, we have the power to win more than just strong contracts for members. Together, we can take on ultra-wealthy bosses and win a just and sustainable future for all working people. 

As a union, everything we’re able to accomplish is the direct result of members actively participating at every level of the union. Keep reading to learn more about what members have accomplished so far this fall, and how you can get involved.

Big 3 Bargaining: Striking Gets the Goods!

Large group of UAW 2162 members & supporters holding picket signs with Senator Jacky Rosen  Three UAW 230 members with picket signs chanting near the front of a large march

As of Monday, October 30, UAW members have won historic Tentative Agreements (TAs) at all of the Big 3 auto companies! All three TAs include massive improvements since the beginning of the Stand Up Strike:

  • Base wage increases of 25% over the life of the contracts (by comparison, wage increases over the past 20 years totaled 23% combined) 
  • Wage increases for temp wages between 150-168% 
  • Restoration of pre-2009 COLA
  • Elimination of multiple wage tiers 
  • Improvements to job security and climate justice, such as including battery production work in national master agreements and securing transfer rights for members whose work transitions to EVs. 

All of these historic wins are the direct result of members across the country actively participating in building a powerful strike. In Region 6, members of Locals 230, 492, 2162, and 6645 led the way, striking for 6 weeks and building power through regular coordination, rallies, community outreach, engaging elected officials, building internal organizing structure, and even dealing with private security forces hired by management to break the strike. Outside of the Big 3, members from all sectors in Region 6 turned out to picket lines, contributed to the hardship fund, and more. (A fundraiser led by Local 2865 raised $12,000 toward the strike support fund!) The takeaway is clear – we have serious power when we come together to take militant, mass participation action. 

Members are the highest authority of our union, and the Tentative Agreements will only go into effect if approved by the membership of Big 3 units. Over the coming weeks, members will review, discuss, and vote on the details of the respective agreements. For more info, check out the bargaining pages for each company: Ford, Stellantis, GM, as well as the Region 6 Big 3 Strike Center

Three UAW 6645 members holding picket signs  Large crowd of UAW 492 members & supporters holding picket signs along a sidewalk

New Organizing: Historic win in Alaska

  1. Graduate Workers at University of Alaska resoundingly won their union election 314-11 (96% yes), with over 72% of the entire unit voting yes. AGWA-UAW is the first UAW unit in Alaska and the largest new unit in Alaska in over a decade.
  2. Postdocs at Washington State University filed for union representation with supermajority support.
  3. Grad Students and Postdocs at Caltech held a mass rally to celebrate reaching majority support in their card authorization drive.
  4. The first cohort of the Region 6 organizer training program, Our Labor, Our Movement celebrated its closing at the end of September. The cohort spent 3 months building organizing skills through training & hands-on experience on campaigns around the region. Be on the lookout for future calls for applications!

Contract Campaigns: Strike Authorizations in CA & WA 

A large group of USC Grad Workers standing at a rally, many holding signs A member of WSU CASE holding a megaphone in front of a large crowd of Academic Student Employees holding signs

  1. Graduate Student Workers at University of Southern California voted overwhelmingly (95.1%) to authorize a strike if circumstances warrant in their fight for a first contract. Earlier this fall, GSWs held a mass rally to launch the strike vote. 
  2. Meanwhile in Washington, this week Academic Student Employees at Washington State University also launched a strike authorization vote in their fight for a first contract. After filing an Unfair Labor Practice in September, ASEs rallied to launch the vote earlier this month. 
  3. After months of bargaining and mobilization, Academic Student Employees of UAW 4123 across the Cal State system ratified a new contract with 98.8% approval.
  4. Project Scientists of UAW 5810 at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab reached a tentative agreement in their contract fight. 
  5. Casino Workers of Local 3555 continue bargaining for new contracts across multiple Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas. In September, more than 20 new stewards and property chairs participated in training one-to-one organizing and building union power.  
  6. After a decisive election win this spring, Educational Student Employees at Western Washington University began bargaining for their first contract. 
  7. Local 2865 and 5810 members rallied in September demanding that the UC drop charges against workers at UC San Diego and implement the contracts. 

Political & Community Action

  1. Region 6 is proud to join California Labor for Climate Jobs, a coalition of 14 unions fighting for a worker-led transition to a green economy. Alongside teachers, utility workers, domestic workers, farmworkers, janitors, and more, we’re fighting to win a California worker Climate Bill of Rights
  2. Earlier this month, Governor Newsom vetoed our picket line protection bill, AB 504, despite its overwhelming bipartisan support in the legislature. 
  3. Region 6 is excited to join Arizona Works Together, the coalition organizing to repeal “Right to Work” in Arizona. 
  4. Check out our endorsements in Washington for the November 7 election at the UAW Endorsements page
  5. Region 6 Director Mike Miller joined Bayan USA for a meeting with Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, chairman of Kilusang Mayo Uno, to discuss state violence against labor leaders in the Philippines & the working conditions of Filipino workers in the US. 

Education & Communications Committee 

The first Region 6 Education & Communications Conference was a great success! Members from across sectors in Region 6 came together for a packed weekend to discuss effective education strategies for engaging members, plan upcoming trainings and communication projects, and strategize how we can build power across sectors. Going forward, the Education & Communications Committee will meet monthly to continue building this work at both Regional and Local levels.

Every Region 6 Local and organizing campaign is highly encouraged to send members to participate. A regular meeting schedule is currently being set and will be posted on the Region 6 calendar. For more info and to join, email [email protected]

Fifteen UAW members posed for a photo with a large UAW wheel cutout

Message from Region 6 Director Mike Miller

It’s been wonderful seeing so many of you on the picket lines in Beaverton, Reno, Rancho Cucamonga, and Ontario. Your solidarity and support has greatly out-shone the greed of the Big 3 automakers who’ve raked in a quarter of a TRILLION dollar$ in profits in the last 9 years off the hard work of UAW members. It’s thanks to that solidarity that we now have historic Tentative Agreements at all three companies – including record wages that match the record profits we’ve generated, provisions for ensuring a just transition to electric vehicles, and more. I encourage all Big 3 members to actively participate in reviewing, debating, and voting on these tentative agreements in the coming weeks. 

Alaska grad workers decisively voted this month to form a union: welcome to the Region 6 family. 

USC grad workers also overwhelmingly passed a strike authorization vote if circumstances justify in their ongoing fight for a fair, first contract. Your Region 6 siblings will support you with solidarity and support wherever your fight leads you.

California Governor Newsom vetoed a bill (SB 799) that would have made striking workers eligible for unemployment insurance benefits that they’ve already earned. Vetoing this bill further tips the scales in favor of bosses and owners and demonstrates again how out-of-touch Governor Newsom is with the vast majority of workers in this country who support unions. We vow to continue fighting to equalize the power of workers and owners and bosses: now amount of vetoes can weaken the resolve of working people to win a just and sustainable future for all.

Finally, I hope to meet with many of you at the Region 6 Political Action & Leadership Conference on January 12-14 to reflect on our work together over the past year and set plans for continuing to grow the labor movement in 2024. 

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


Large group of UAW members and supporters with raised fists and picket signs

UAW 2865 & 5810 Amalgamation 

This month, members of UAW 2865 and UAW 5810 voted overwhelmingly (92%) in favor of combining their locals and forming one big union for all academic workers across the University of California. Now that members have spoken, the request to officially amalgamate moves on to the UAW International Executive Board for approval.

Upcoming Events & Conferences

  1. The 2024 Region 6 Political Action and Leadership Conference will be January 12-14 in Pico Rivera, California. All members are welcome! For more information, check out the call letter, and get in touch with your Local if you are interested in attending.
  2. The next meeting of the Region 6 Gender Justice & Civil Human Rights Committee will be November 6 at 6pm via Zoom. The registration link to join will be posted on the calendar event.  
  3. The Region 6 Education & Communications Committee meets monthly. Dates & times will be posted on the Region 6 calendar. Email [email protected] for more information & to join.
  4. The next monthly Region 6 CAP/PAC (Political Action) meeting is Saturday, November 18 at 10am via zoom. For more info and to join, check out the calendar event.
  5. Check out the 2024 UAW Conference schedule for more info about national conferences coming up next year.