Auto Worker Powerhouse Doug Fraser Dead at 91

Ex union boss helped save Chrysler from ruin
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 2:47 AM CST
United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger, center, laughs with reporters during a photo op while standing next to UAW past presidents Douglas A. Fraser, left, and Owen Bieber, right, at the UAW Solidarity...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Former United Auto Workers president Doug Fraser, who played a vital role in saving Chrysler from bankruptcy, died yesterday at age 91. The cause of death was unknown, but Fraser had been suffering from emphysema, the Detroit Free Press reports. As UAW president during the ’70s and ’80s, Fraser helped win comprehensive health care and improved working conditions.

In 1979 the labor leader pushed for $1.5 million in federal loan guarantees for Chrysler to save the auto giant from financial ruin. Fraser later served on Chrysler’s board of directors and taught labor studies classes at Wayne State University. “His integrity and enduring commitment to protecting the rights of workers will continue to inspire us,” said the union's current president.