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UAW hires Dem Insider to Head Washington Effort (Read More…)

David Shepardson
May 3, 2011

The United Auto Workers announced today it has named a politically connected former Democratic presidential campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill, as the head of its Washington office and director of its Community Action Program.

“We are thrilled to have Mary Beth join the UAW leadership team, especially in light of the difficult challenges ahead for our union,” said UAW President Bob King. “As we navigate the tough political environment in this era of attacks on American working families and the middle class and head into national contract talks for the domestic automakers, I’m confident that she will help us elect officeholders who are allies in the battle to save the American middle class.”

The announcement came as the UAW’s executive committee was holding a three-day in meeting in Detroit this week. The union faces two big issues this year: contract talks with Detroit’s Big Three and a plan to target one of the foreign automakers with non-union U.S. plants for intensive organizing efforts.

Cahill will be a senior adviser to King, who called her one of the nation’s top political strategists. She was assistant to the president and director of the Office of Public Liaison in the Clinton White House, chief of staff for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and campaign director for Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. She also worked for the influential political action committee, EMILY’s List.

“She is a renowned authority on women and politics and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the union’s political operations,” King added.

A Massachusetts native and daughter of a UAW autoworker, Cahill earned a degree in English and political science from Emmanuel College in Boston.

Legislative Director Alan Reuther retired in June after leading the Detroit union’s efforts in Washington for nearly two decades.

Reuther retired in June and was replaced by Barbara Somson, his deputy of 11 years in Washington.

Reuther, the nephew of the late Walter Reuther — founder and former president of the modern-day UAW — worked for the UAW for 33 years and headed the union’s legislative department starting in 1991.
The UAW statement announcing Cahill’s hiring didn’t mention Somson. King and Somson didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Posted by Admin on 05/03 at 04:15 PM