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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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      He's in because he looks less mafia.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Looks kinda hipster-ish to me, like an older Ben Gibbard...
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not often when organized crime distributes pictures of their boss.
      • 5 Years Ago
      just a bit creepy looking in that pic. I wish him luck though. Hopefully he has some common sense and doesn't try to destroy any companies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I woudl think his first order of business would be to head straight over to the import plants and get them under the UAW. Forget about trying to modify conessions, they need to get the member count back up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh Yeah its is and good, I just wish the domestics would stand up and well follow suit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Case in point.
        Toyota abandons NUMMI,
        And the Autoblog article just above this is about Toyota building the Mississippi plant...

        That's a big middle finger to the UAW
        • 5 Years Ago
        Never happen. The foreign companies would sooner SHUT DOWN the plants than allow the UAW to get in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope Ford crushes him and the UAW while GM and Chrysler cave and collapse...again...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mr. King is bible-thumping jack-ass who has the pathetic nerve to tell other companies to "allow" their employees to exercise their first amendment rights. Excuse me, but does he not realize they already have by NOT wanting to join the UAW? People, the employees of Honda and Nissan here in the USA build better cars than Mr. King can; vehicles which last longer and hold their values much more than the Domestic "junk" he's been building, and which people are leaving behind as trade-ins, worthless trade-ins I might add at dealers lots ALL across America?
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