LAS VEGAS -- UAW President Ron Gettelfinger received another four-year term Wednesday to guide the union through tough negotiations with the Big 3 next year and redouble organizing drives of nonunion carmakers and suppliers.
His hand-picked slate of vice presidents also was elected. They are Elizabeth Bunn, Bob King, Terry Thurman, Cal Rapson, Jimmy Settles Jr. and General Holiefield.
Bunn was re-elected as secretary-treasurer. The union is expected to announce the assignments of the other vice presidents as early as Thursday, June 15.
Those assignments include the three officers who will head the crucial bargaining departments for master contract negotiations at General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group.
Those three officers will replace retiring vice presidents Richard Shoemaker, of the GM bargaining department; Gerald Bantom, of the Ford bargaining department; and Nate Gooden, of the Chrysler bargaining department.
King, who will be 60 years old in August, has been especially prominent at the 34th constitutional convention here and at high-profile public conferences. He was a guest speaker, for example, at an automotive conference this year held by the Federal Reserve in Detroit.
King, who started his elected union career at Local 600 representing workers at the Ford Rouge complex, has directed the union's organizing efforts over the past four years. But with the retirements at hand, King may get picked by Gettelfinger to head one of the three bargaining units, said a UAW local president familiar with the debate within the UAW administrative caucus.
King declined to comment on the prospect Tuesday, June 13, saying he would serve wherever asked.
Settles also came up through UAW ranks, beginning at Local 600. He most recently was director of UAW Region 1A in suburban Detroit. Holiefield, who has been a UAW member for 33 years, came up through the Chrysler/UAW system before he was named Gettelfinger's executive administrative assistant in 2004.
Rapson, 61, was elected a vice president four years ago. He heads bargaining units at Guide Corp., Lear Corp. and American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. Rapson, who came up through the union ranks representing GM workers in Flint, can serve only the next four years. Union retirement rules prohibit vice presidents from running for four more years if they are 65 at the convention.
Thurman is the only vice president who was not operating from Michigan. He served two four-year terms as regional director of UAW Region 3.
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