DETROIT – The United Auto Workers International Executive Board voted Thursday to merge the states represented by UAW Region 5 between UAW Regions 4 and 8. This merger will be effective February 28, 2020.
The move comes amid the ongoing UAW corruption scandal. Just last month the UAW announced Vance Pearson was resigning as Director of UAW Region 5, effective immediately, and retiring.
The announcement came after the UAW International Executive Board voted to begin Article 30 proceedings against former UAW President Gary Jones and Pearson, who worked as his right-hand man.
The Article 30 charges assert that Jones and Pearson directed the submission of false, misleading and inaccurate expense records to the UAW Accounting Department and further concealed the true information concerning those expenses.
“Today’s action was taken in the interest of maintaining continuity in representing and servicing our members. Both Regions 4 and 8 have been prudently managed, cover wide geographic territories and have proven experience effectively representing UAW members. This will not impact any individual locals or state CAP councils or retiree councils,” said UAW President Rory Gamble. “When a vacancy occurs on the IEB - as happened with Region 5 - the UAW Constitution allows for the International Executive Board to combine regions, an action that has been taken in the past. These consolidations have no impact on regional staffing, international union programming or the operation of local unions.”
As in 2002 and 2012, when recent past mergers occurred, regional programming and operations remain in place through the new regional structures.
Region 5 comprises 17 states in the western and southwestern United States and represents 37,000 members. States included are: Missouri; Texas; Oklahoma; Arkansas; Louisiana; Kansas; Colorado; New Mexico; California; Oregon; Nevada; Arizona; Utah; Idaho; Alaska; Washington and Hawaii.
The UAW will announce how the new regions will be apportioned at a later date.
“Whenever there is a regional director vacancy, the UAW IEB takes the opportunity to look at our structure and consider the best interests of our members and the Union,” said Ray Curry, UAW Secretary-Treasurer. “As with more recent region mergers, we have determined that this decision is prudent for the best interests of the union and will not impact or interrupt membership services or regional operations.”
The UAW will be working with all three regions to assure a smooth and efficient transition for member services and operations.