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General Holiefield was elected to a second term as a UAW vice president on June 16, 2010, by delegates at the union’s 35th Constitutional Convention.
First elected to the post on June 14, 2006, Holiefield directed the union’s Chrysler, Heavy Truck and Engine, and General Dynamics departments.
A UAW member for 37 years, Holiefield served as executive administrative assistant to former 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.
Holiefield previously served two years as an administrative assistant to then-Vice President Nate Gooden, who directed 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 UAW International staff in 1995 by then-President Stephen P. Yokich 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 1997 Laskowski promoted Holiefield to the position of appeals board coordinator, with responsibility for handling arbitration cases for the union’s Chrysler Department.
In 1999 Gooden named Holiefield as an assistant director of the union's DaimlerChrysler Department, and promoted him to administrative assistant in 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 Chrysler’s axle plant on Detroit’s lower East Side, 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, 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 1992 Holiefield was elected by his local union members as a delegate to the UAW’s 30th Constitutional Convention. In 1993 his local’s members elected him president and bargaining chair by acclamation.
A longtime political and community activist, Holiefield is a member of the Michigan Democratic Party, a life member of the NAACP, as well as a member of the NAACP's national board of directors, a member of the UAW Legal Services Board and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).
Holiefield enjoys riding horses, fishing and motorcycling.