United Auto Workers regional delegates have voted decisively to reaffiliate with the AFL-CIO, the next step toward ending a 13-year rift between the two American labor giants, UAW President Douglas A. Fraser said today.
The vote authorizes the auto union's executive board to begin the process of reconcilation.
The UAW pulled out of the federation in 1968, due in part to philosophical and political differences between the late AFL-CIO president, George Meany, and the late UAW president, Walter Reuther.
UAW delegates who met in separate regional conventions throughout the United States this month voted for the reaffiliation, 7,785 to 4,527, Fraser said.
"We will now move quickly to discuss with the federation the final terms and conditions of the reaffiliation so that we can consummate it without undue delay," he said.
"Our rank-and-file convention delegates have shown by this vote that this is a time to unify and, in a spirit of solidarity, to work together and fight together with our brothers and sisters in the labor movement," he said.
The reaffiliation move was recommended to the UAW rank and file by a unanimous vote of the union's executive board last month.
In recent years, the union has worked particularly closely with the 13.2-million-member AFL-CIO on legislative efforts involving economic and social issues.
The heavy vote against a reconciliation did not surprise most UAW officials, who had acknowledged that there were pockets of resistance because of heavy auto industry layoffs.