The United Automobile Workers Union (UAW) announced over the weekend that it has named Rory Gamble as its acting president.
The announcement was made just days after FBI agents conducted a series of raids, including those at the home of former UAW Presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, a St. Louis UAW hall and a home Jones had in St. Louis where he worked before Detroit.
“UAW President Gary Jones has asked for a leave of absence, following a vote of the executive board,” the union said in a statement. “It will be effective Sunday, Nov. 3. Vice President Rory Gamble, who recently negotiated the Ford agreement, will serve as acting president and assume full responsibility for the president’s office.”
Jones responded in a statement of his own, saying, the UAW “is fighting tooth and nail to ensure our members have a brighter future.”
“I do not want anything to distract from the mission,” Jones said. “I want to do what’s best for the members of this great union.”
Although the UAW represents a large number of African American employees, Gamble’s appointment marks the first time in UAW history that there has been an African American president.
“Together throughout the last few months, we’ve achieved substantial victories for UAW members, and we know that we have more work to do,” Gamble said. “We want better health care coverage, better salaries and respect for our work. That will not change.”