PITTSBURGH (Oct. 7) — Ron Hoover will lead the rubber industry´s organized workers for the next four years after being elected by delegates of the United Steelworkers union´s Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference.
Hoover, who ran unopposed for USW executive vice president in charge of the R/PIC, was elected by acclamation at the conference´s convention, held Oct. 3-5 in Pittsburgh. He has held the position since Sept. 1, when John Sellers retired.
Sellers had been USW executive vice president since March 1996. Hoover´s elected term will begin officially in March of next year and run until March 2010.
Hoover, 63, said he felt humble yet proud to be in the union´s top rubber industry post. His top goals are to help the companies where the USW members work keep producing rubber in North America and curb the industry´s desire to cut costs on the backs of the members and retirees.
Next year will be a big one for the USW´s R/PIC conference, as contracts with several tire makers lapse. These companies include Goodyear, Bridgestone/Firestone, Michelin North America Inc., Continental Tire North America Inc. and Titan International Inc.
Hoover joined the United Rubber Workers in 1964 when he went to work at Goodyear´s Topeka, Kan., tire plant. He´s been active with the union—which merged with the Steelworkers in 1995—since 1973, serving as division chairman and two-term president with Local 307 before being appointed a staff representative in 1989.
Since then, he has served as coordinator of the Goodyear chain bargaining committee—including chief negotiator in the most recent contract negotiations in 2003—and as Sellers´ assistant since 1998.