But Rich Boyer, a delegate from the same plant, urged leaders to postpone the vote until after contract talks next year with Detroit automakers. He said if they don't get a wage increase and have to pay more for health care "then we are in trouble."
Longtime auto plant workers haven't had a raise in nine years, but most get healthy profit-sharing checks from their companies.
Gary Walkowicz, a Ford plant worker who is running for union president, said workers are against the increase and called for a union-wide vote. King said convention delegates are elected to represent members.
UAW membership has dropped from a peak of 1.5 million in 1979 to about 391,000 today. It has risen slightly since 2009.
In February, the union suffered a stunning defeat when it tried to organize a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennesee. Since then it has targeted Nissan workers at factories in Tennessee and Mississippi.
The union holds its constitutional convention every four years. About 1,100 delegates are attending the event in Detroit. They'll vote on new officers for the union on Wednesday.
—By The Associated Press