Rory Gamble retires as president of the UAW

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry unanimously elected to serve the remainder of Gamble’s term

AFTER STEERING THE UNION through a crisis that resulted in the 15 high-ranking union officials pleading guilty to corruption charges, UAW President Rory Gamble is retiring. – UAW photo

Detroit, MI – UAW President Rory L. Gamble retired last week, after steering the UAW through a comprehensive ethics reforms initiative and ultimately saving the union from a potential government takeover following a corruption scandal that engulfed the union’s top leadership.

When Gamble, the first black president in the history of the UAW, assumed the union presidency in December 2019, he vowed to clean up the corruption in which 15 high-ranking union officials including two presidents, pleaded guilty to embezzling millions of dollars of union money. Former president Gary Jones (from St. Louis) was sentenced last month to 28 months in federal prison for helping steal as much as $1.5 million from union members, following his predecessor, Dennis Williams, who was sentenced in May to 21 months in prison.

“I said on Day One I would hand over the keys to this treasured institution as a clean union,” said Gamble, 65. “My original intent as a UAW Vice President was to retire at the end of June 2021, and after looking at the progress we have made and the best interests of UAW members for a stable transfer of power, this is the right time for me to turn over the reins.”

Gamble added that he hopes his retirement will usher in a period of multiple term presidents for the UAW. “You need time to settle in and look at the long-range focus and priorities of our membership,” he said. “Especially in this time of vast technological change.”

Gamble will be remembered for steering the UAW through a comprehensive ethics reforms initiative and ultimately saving the union from a potential government takeover. He was also a leading voice in guiding the UAW and American manufacturing through the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic; navigating the semiconductor crisis; and UAW support for Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Gamble said he intends to remain involved in community work after retiring including the Thaw Board. “I’m blessed to be able to spend time with my family and continue to work giving back to the community,” said Gamble. “I’ll always look back on the sisters and brothers who together made my time in the UAW so special. And although I never intended to be UAW president, I hope that my chapter in our history will long be remembered for righting the ship, facing a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic head on and saving lives, while setting up my union for a bright future. As a team we accomplished much to be proud of.”

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, a former truck assembler and military veteran, was unanimously elected to serve the remainder of Gamble’s term, starting July 1.

Curry said: “As president, I pledge to continue to build upon our commitment to a culture of transparency, reforms, and checks and balances. I want to also say that I will be embracing the model that has been set forth by my brother and friend, Rory L. Gamble, to be accessible and accountable to our members, to keep them informed and engaged. Rory has led us through the storm, and we are so grateful for his leadership.”

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