The president of the 850,000-member United Steelworkers is retiring by mid-July, signaling a change in leadership of the the Pittsburgh-based union.
Leo Gerard, who has been the USW president since 2001, will be replaced by Tom Conway, the USW International vice president, the USW announced on Wednesday.
The USW is changing and becoming more diverse, Gerard said in a statement.
“We represent more different kinds of workers in more and more sectors, and our board is changing to reflect that growth,” Gerard said.
The union’s International Executive Board approved the transition plan, which will occur between now and mid-July, when the changes become effective.
Gerard began his career at age 18 in the northern Ontario mining industry. He moved up the union leadership ladder, from district director in Canda to Canadian national director, to secretary-treasurer, before assuming the presidency.
Conway has been USW vice president since 2005. He has served as a staff representative and as the secretary of the USW’s Basic Steel Conference.
David McCall, USW District 1 director, will fill Conway’s position as vice president. Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson will be replaced by John Shinn, District 4 director. Roxanne Brown will take over for Carol Landry as international vice president at large. International Vice President Jon Geenen will be replaced by Leeann Foster.
The USW represents workers in the steel, rubber, chemicals, paper and oil refining industries, as well as the service and public sectors.