Biographical sketch of UAW Vice
President General Holiefield
General Holiefield was elected a vice
president of the UAW on June 14, 2006 by the delegates to the 34th UAW
A UAW member for 33 years, Holiefield served as Executive Administrative
Assistant to UAW President Ron Gettelfinger from June 2004 until his
election as vice president. He is the first African-American to serve
in the union’s top staff position.
Prior to that, Holiefield served two years as an Administrative Assistant
to Vice President Nate Gooden, who directs
the UAW DaimlerChrysler Department. In the UAW’s successful 2003
national negotiations with DaimlerChrysler, Holiefield coordinated the
national negotiating committees and staff assignments, and played a
major role in ratifying the national agreement.
Holiefield was appointed to the staff of the UAW in 1995 by then President
Stephen P. Yokes and assigned to the union’s Chrysler Department,
then directed by Vice President Jack Laskowski. As a servicing representative,
he worked closely with UAW members and local union leaders at Chrysler
manufacturing and parts plants in Michigan and Indiana.
In July 1997, Vice President Laskowski promoted Holiefield to the position
of Appeals Board Coordinator, with responsibility for handling arbitration
cases for the UAW Chrysler Department.
In November 1999, Vice President Gooden named Holiefield as an Assistant
Director of the union’s DaimlerChrysler Department, and promoted
him to Administrative Assistant in April 2002.
Holiefield has been a UAW member since 1973, when he went to work at
Chrysler’s Jefferson assembly plant in Detroit. In 1975, he transferred
to the Chrysler axle plant on the lower east side of Detroit, where
he quickly became active in UAW Local 961, working on various standing
committees, including the Civil Rights, Community Action Program (CAP),
Union Label, and Bylaws committees.
Recognizing his activism and leadership skills, UAW Local 961 members
elected Holiefield as their chief steward in 1987. He was elected vice
president of his local union in 1990, and became president two years
later when his predecessor retired. In 1993, Local 961 members elected
Holiefield president and bargaining chairperson by acclamation.
A longtime political and community activist, Holiefield is a member
of the Michigan Democratic Party, a “Life” member of the
NAACP and a member of the UAW Legal Services Board.
General and his wife Marlene, who live in Macomb County, Mich., are
the proud parents of three adult children: daughter Shaelyn and sons
Chalfonte and General Jr. An avid car buff, General also enjoys riding
horses, fishing and motorcycling.
Holiefield was born on June 6, 1953 in Middletown, Ohio.