DETROIT -- UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who oversees the union's Chrysler department, has been placed on leave and responsibility for the automaker's 37,200 workers shifted to President Bob King's office, the union has confirmed.
UAW spokeswoman Michele Martin said that Holiefield, 60, has been placed on leave from the UAW. She could not say, however, whether he is on paid or unpaid leave, or whether Holiefield would return to work before his four-year term ends in June. Holiefield is not seeking re-election.
In a message to Chrysler locals yesterday, King said Holiefield had requested and was granted the leave of absence.
On Jan. 15, Holiefield pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless use of a firearm stemming from a Dec. 30 incident in his suburban Detroit home in which his wife was shot in the stomach with a .45-caliber pistol that was being cleaned.
Holiefield's wife, Monica Morgan, also works for the UAW and is expected to make a full recovery.
Holiefield often appeared at plant events with Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, who lavished praise on the UAW leader as a partner in Chrysler's comeback.
But many UAW Chrysler members have expressed other sentiments in private and in public, especially over implementation of a controversial "alternative work schedule" scheme that has workers regularly rotating from day to night shifts and back again.