Bieber, Owen Frederick

Bieber, Owen Frederick

Bieber, Owen Frederick, 1929–2020, American labor leader, b. North Dorr, Mich. Active in the United Automobile Workers (UAW) from 1949, when he became a shop steward, he rose to become a regional director (1974–80), then a vice president and director of the UAW's General Motors (GM) department, and finally president (1983–95) of the UAW. Competition from foreign carmakers (including from their nonunion plants in the United States), a U.S. economic downturn, and the pullout of Canadian UAW members contributed to declining membership, factory layoffs, fruitless strikes, and concessionary contracts; training programs for workers were instituted and union-management collaboration established. Bieber opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the UAW supported Poland's Solidarity movement and sanctions against South Africa due to apartheid. He also was a member of Chrysler's board of directors (1984–91).
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