Man, becoming the head of the United Auto Workers seems like it attracts crooks like the ice cream man attracts little kids. We’ve lost count of how many of the top tier UAW overlords have pleaded guilty for embezzlement and headed off to prison. But the feds haven’t lost count, and that’s a huge problem for the UAW. After the latest guilty plea by a former UAW president, it looks like it is on the verge of a federal takeover. So, what’s going on?
Former UAW President Gary Jones pleaded guilty to a variety of swindles yesterday after years of investigation. He’ll get plenty of time to think about his embezzling, racketeering, and fraud. He has agreed to about 4 ½ years in prison. If he snitches on others involved he could see less time.
Since the federal investigation started 13 others have pleaded guilty
We expected he would be sentenced in March but, you know, coronavirus. Since the investigation started there have been 13 others who have pleaded guilty. Jones already forfeited $32,000 seized from his house, $81,000 from his “flower fund,” and $30,000 from another union account.
He also had to give up his Titleist golf clubs purchased with UAW money. It makes you wonder what the fed missed that Jones has squirreled away. With 14 guilty pleas and the recovery of so much UAW cash along with the discovery of multiple swindles you would think the feds would be happy. They are not.
The word is that they don’t feel they are getting much cooperation from the UAW heads. That opens the door for the feds to file a civil racketeering lawsuit. If that happens it is easy for the government to walk right in and take over.
If there is a federal takeover it can fire UAW officers to establish new leadership
Taking control of union operations also means they can fire UAW officers and set up elections to establish new leadership. “My patience has pretty much run out,” US Attorney Matthew Schneider told the Automotive News. “I would like to have some serious dialogue and serious action about reforming the UAW itself, within a couple of months.”
Without “serious action” the feds taking over the UAW ultimately means it can put in motion the same procedures that it did for the Teamsters 30 years ago. It could remove the Reuther Administrative Caucus which puts a monopoly on selecting candidates for upper positions in the UAW.
UAW members deserve what a union is expected to do for them
Look, the UAW is a good thing. The members deserve what a union is expected to do when one joins. These swindles hurt the members and that is bad for all concerned. Especially now with plant openings as the COVID-19 pandemic is still swirling around, the UAW can give members added protections they need.
We’ll have to wait until the end of summer to see if the UAW can satisfy the feds or it looks like the government will be overseeing the UAW. If it can break the chain of scams and swindles it can’t come soon enough.