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UAW’s Marc Stepp

by Bill Cawthon on

Marc Stepp, the former head of the United Auto Workers union’s Chrysler Department, has died. While no cause of death was given, he was 93 years old.


Stepp started out as a dock worker at Chrysler in 1942, and worked his way up in the UAW’s ranks. In 1974, he became the vice president of the union’s Chrysler Department and the first African-American to lead bargaining at a major automaker. He remained head of the Chrysler Department until 1989.

During the 1979 crisis, the UAW negotiated two rounds of concessions to help Chrysler stay afloat. Stepp also lobbied for the government loans that allowed Chrysler to survive and, before long, to thrive.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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