Detroit News: Marick Masters on work of former UAW President Owen Bieber

Former United Auto Workers President Owen Bieber died Monday, according to the labor union. He was 90. Bieber led the UAW for 12 years, longer than anyone except the legendary Walter Reuther. Bieber was the union's seventh president from May 1983 to June 1995. “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.”

Bieber oversaw one of the nation's largest unions at a time when Japanese automakers were cutting into the market shares of General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and, at the time, Chrysler. The external threats from international competition "sort of blindsided the auto industry and it was on the heels of the energy crisis," said Marick Masters, business professor at Wayne State University. "He presided during one of most challenging periods," Masters said.

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