Task force was 'hellbent' on ending retiree health benefits, UAW exec says

Retiring UAW President Ron Gettelfinger saved post-retirement health care at General Motors and Chrysler by taking on a federal automotive task force "hellbent on eliminating" those benefits, UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn said in a speech this morning recognizing Gettelfinger for his contributions to the UAW.

Speaking in a balloon-festooned conventional hall here, Bunn said Gettelfinger in his 45-year career led with quiet determination, even during the auto recession of the past two years.

"Ron showed that you don't need to yell and swear to show you're tough," Bunn said.

Gettelfinger's second of two four-year terms as president ends tomorrow. He is succeeded by Bob King, who was elected overwhelmingly today during officer elections.