The President Emeritus of United Automobile Workers, Owen F. Bieber, has died. He was 90 years old.
Bieber served from 1983 to 1995 as the union’s seventh president. Bieber also served as director of the union’s General Motors Department.
“Owen Bieber’s death is a loss for our union and all working people. He was a man of incredible leadership. He was not afraid of tough battles or taking a stand on controversial issues,” said UAW President Rory L. Gamble. “He was not only a devoted trade unionist but a social activist whose impact was felt around the world. Whether it was his support to end apartheid in South Africa or in Poland, Owen stood on the right side of history for the nation and the world.”
In 1939, Beiber co-founded UAW Local 687, the first UAW local in Grand Rapids. A year later, he was elected Local 687’s shop steward. By 1955 he was elected to the local bargaining committee and was elected local president the following year.
In 1972, he was appointed director of UAW Region 1D, a position he held until 1980, when he was elected vice president.