UAW's Chrysler VP arrested on domestic matter

DETROIT Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:29am EDT

DETROIT (Reuters) - A vice president of the United Auto Workers who leads the U.S. union's relations with Chrysler Group was arrested this week on a domestic matter, law enforcement officials said.

General Holiefield, who once was considered a contender to replace past UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, was not charged but was arrested on Monday, said the Macomb County Sheriff's Department. Macomb County is north of Detroit.

Holiefield, 58, was released, but the matter is under investigation by the Macomb County prosecutor's office, the sheriff's department said. The prosecutor's office could not be reached for comment.

The UAW also could not be reached for comment.

Holiefield is in his second term as vice president of the UAW and heads its Chrysler department. He is expected to lead the union's negotiations this summer with Chrysler, now under the management control of Italy's Fiat SpA.

The UAW faces negotiations with the three major U.S. automakers beginning next month for a new four-year contract m that replaces one set to expire in mid-September.

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press newspaper, Holiefield filed for divorce in May.

Holiefield has been with the UAW for 38 years, since he became a worker at a Chrysler assembly plant in Detroit.

Prior to becoming head of the union's Chrysler department in 2006, he served as executive administrative assistant to Gettelfinger for two years. Gettelfinger stepped down last summer and was replaced by current UAW President Bob King.

The UAW now owns 45.7 percent of Chrysler, which was restructured after a 2009 bankruptcy and U.S. government bailout of the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)