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UAW Elects New FCA Department VP

Executive Summary

The UAW chooses a veteran union director to head its FCA unit, replacing a vice president who retired Dec. 31 amid a federal investigation into misused union training funds.

The United Auto Workers has elected Terry Dittes, Region 9 Director, to replace Norwood Jewell as vice president in charge of the union’s Fiat Chrysler Department.

UAW President Dennis Williams says Dittes brings bargaining experience at the local, regional and national levels and experienced leadership to the job.

The new vice president will serve out the remainder of the term and stand for election to a full four-year term in June at the UAW’s International Constitutional Convention. Dittes has experience as a local union leader, a servicing representative, as head of the UAW’s International Gaming Dept. and as a regional leader.

Originally hired at General Motors Fisher Body Plant in Trenton, NJ, in 1978 as a member of UAW Local 731, Dittes later transferred to the GM Parts Warehouse in Bensalem, PA, as a member of UAW Local 585. He became a member of UAW Local 2177 when that unit of GM Parts was granted its own charter.

In 1992, Dittes was elected chairperson of the bargaining committee at Local 2177. He was re-elected as shop chair for two more consecutive terms. He was appointed to the Region 9 servicing staff in August 1999 and in February 2012 was named assistant director of the UAW’s International Gaming Dept.

Dittes became a Regional Director 2014 after serving as an assistant director of UAW Region 9, which covers western New York, New Jersey and most of Pennsylvania.

“It is an honor and privilege to represent the women and men of the UAW as their vice president,” Dittes says. “At every bargaining table and every meeting, my focus will always be on the economic fairness, health and safety, and job protections that all UAW members and their families deserve for their hard work and their community’s well-being.”

Jewell elected to retire at the end of 2017 amid an investigation by the U.S. into the misappropriation of money in the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center by both FCA employees and UAW officers and staff members.

Jewell has not been named or charged in the investigation, but he did receive, as a gift, an expensive firearm purchased with training center funds. The UAW said he later paid for the gun after learning how it was purchased.

Williams said last month that the union acutely is aware that the investigation into the FCA training center has put the organization under intense scrutiny. The investigation now has spread to joint training funds the union operates with GM and Ford. The union continues to cooperate with the federal investigators, Williams noted.

“We have been under a magnifying glass and rightfully so,” Williams said on Dec. 20. “A former officer of the UAW was implicated in allegedly defrauding the FCA (Fiat Chrysler) national training center for personal gain, along with other company officials and a few international reps. We will never tolerate this type of misconduct.”

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