Ron Gettelfinger has been in the United Auto Workers for 44 years, the last eight of those years in the role of president. He's taken his share of lumps from the people he faced across the table and his own constituents, but he's led the UAW through some of the toughest years its faced in a decades, summed up by his quote, "We did what we had to do to get to tomorrow." And now he's out, with his chosen successor, Bob King, voted in by a landslide to replace him.
King's candidacy was challenged by Gary Walkowicz, a bargaining committee member from Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant, and it's the first time someone has run against an endorsed candidate in 18 years. But that's part of Gettelfinger's legacy and a sign of the times – there are still strong and various currents of opinion about which way the UAW needs to go. However, with former lead Ford negotiatior King winning 2,115 votes to Walkowicz's 74 when the ballot counting was stopped, the front is still unified enough.
In addition to crowning King err.. king, General Holiefield, James Settles, Joseph Ashton and Cynthia Estrada were elected vice presidents and Dennis Williams was voted in as secretary-treasurer.
[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Carlos Osorio/Getty]