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Julie Kushner was elected director of UAW Region 9A by delegates to the UAW’s 35th Constitutional Convention on June 16, 2010, in Detroit.
Kushner has been a union activist for more than 30 years.
In 1977 she joined District 65, an independent union that later affiliated with the UAW. She participated in many successful organizing drives, including for clerical and administrative support staff at Columbia University, various trade schools, and public and nonprofit organizations.
In 1992 Kushner became the first president of UAW Local 2110, an amalgamated local with units in a variety of nonmanufacturing settings. As local president, Kushner was responsible for collective bargaining for more than 35 Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) units, including Barnard College, Teachers College of Columbia, the Museum of Modern Art and The Village Voice. Kushner has been particularly committed to the fight for contract language to protect workers’ health and safety, and to promote women’s and family issues.
In 1994 then-UAW President Owen Bieber appointed Kushner to the International staff at Region 9A and assigned her to education. In 1998 then-UAW President Stephen P. Yokich appointed Kushner as subregional director in the New York Region 9A office under then-Director Phil Wheeler. During her tenure as subregional director, the union was successful in organizing thousands of graduate student employees and adjunct faculty at New York University and the part-time faculty at the New School University.
In 2006 Kushner was appointed assistant director of Region 9A by newly elected Director Bob Madore. In addition to her administrative responsibilities in the region, Kushner worked with the Foxwoods Resort Casino organizing staff and committee, which resulted in an overwhelming election victory by 2,500 dealers in November 2007. Kushner led the campaign and negotiations for a first contract that was ratified by Region 9A’s newest members in January 2010.
Over the years Kushner has been involved in more than 30 organizing campaigns and has successfully negotiated more than a dozen first contracts. In addition, she has helped to establish three new local unions in Region 9A.
Involved in a number of civic organizations, she served as a board member of the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, the Working Families Party and Citizen Action of New York. Kushner has worked to build Region 9A’s coalition building program, bringing labor and community groups together to elect progressive candidates.
She is currently an active member of the Connecticut Democratic Party and was elected as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2000, 2004 and 2008. She also serves as a member of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee. She is a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and a lifelong member of the NAACP.
Kushner lives in Connecticut with her husband, Larry Morgan. Julie and Larry have three children: Ole, Raychel and Cara, and three grandchildren.