Horton-Gennette Becomes New UIW National Director

Karen Horton-Gennette has been appointed by the SIU Executive Board to become the new UIW National Director. She assumed the post effective Jan. 1, 2019, replacing Kate Hunt, who had held the position since August 2016 and is Vice President of the SIU’s Government Services Division.

Horton-Gennette comes under the UIW canopy following a highly successful 17-year stint with another UIW/SIU affiliate, the Seafarers Entertainment and Allied Trades Union (SEATU).

After launching her union career with the SIU in Michigan in 2000, she became a business representative with SEATU some 18 months later.

“I began my career with the SIU as a secretary in the Port of Algonac in May of 2000,” said Horton-Gennette, who hails originally from East China, Michigan, and currently resides in Algonac, Michigan. “About a year and a half later, in September of 2001 as I recall, I was promoted to the position of SEATU business representative.”

As SEATU business representative, Horton-Gennette managed the day-to-day business interests of the union at work sites in three states and was the focal point for a myriad of employee-related matters.

“This promotion took me to Kansas City, Missouri, where I represented three casinos: one in Riverside, Missouri, another in Sioux City, Iowa and a third in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” she said. “In the business representative capacity, I handled all issues involving and related to employee concerns including grievances, terminations, disciplinary meetings, scheduling and more.”

Horton-Gennette remained in Kansas City until 2005 when she accepted a transfer to Honolulu. In her role of business representative in Hawaii, she represented SEATU crew members who worked aboard NCL America vessels. A year later in 2006, Horton-Gennette returned to Kansas City and once again represented the interests of casino employees. In 2007 she was promoted to the post of Assistant Vice President of SEATU.

“In that position, I was tasked with the management of all SEATU properties and union halls,” she said. “Additionally, I negotiated collective bargaining agreements, organized new facilities and helped resolve high-level grievances.”

During the same time, Horton-Gennette was actively involved in organizing drives for the UIW as well as the SIU.

“I look forward to launching my tenure as UIW National Director,” Horton-Gennette said. “I am grateful for the confidence that the union leadership has shown in me and my abilities. With their continued cooperation and support – along with that of the rank-and-file UIW membership – I see only good things in the future for the union.”