In the latest punishment in what the government calls “systemic” corruption at the highest ranks of the union, 11 union officials and a late official’s spouse have pleaded guilty since 2017, including former presidents Dennis Williams and Gary Jones.
UPDATE: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute
More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked off General Motors factory floors or set up picket lines early Monday as contract talks with the company deteriorated into a strike.Read More
Dennis Williams is the 15th person to be charged in an investigation of the senior ranks of the venerable labor union. It has revealed crooked ties between officials and executives at Fiat Chrysler.
General Motors is asking a federal judge to reconsider his dismissal of a lawsuit based on new allegations that Fiat Chrysler bribed union officials and GM employees with millions stashed in secret foreign bank accounts.
United Auto Workers represents about 150,000 workers employed by Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, but it also includes casino workers, university graduate assistants and others.
Gary Jones acknowledged that he falsified expenses from 2012 to 2017 when he was a regional UAW director. He was promoted to president in 2018 but quit after 17 months as the federal investigation intensified.
The United Auto Workers union has been pushing for factories to close because workers are fearful of coming into contact with the coronavirus.
Former UAW President Gary Jones is accused of conspiring with others at the union to embezzle more than $1 million. The court filing against Jones describes a scheme to pocket cash and enjoy luxuries, including $13,000 in cigars.
A United Auto Workers union member said the threat of parts shortages at GM facilities is growing, but the automaker doesn’t expect to have to pause production at plants in Indiana, Michigan and Texas, according to spokesman.
The ratification means the United Auto Workers union has settled with all three Detroit automakers. Fiat Chrysler has a workforce of 8,156 in Indiana at four plants in Kokomo and one plant in Tipton.
The United Auto Workers union has replaced its auditing firm, added four internal auditors and hired a big accounting firm to study its financial controls in an effort to prevent a repeat of the embezzlement and bribery discovered in a federal probe of the union.
The United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler reached a tentative agreement Saturday on a new four-year contract that includes a total of $9 billion in investments but still needs final approval from workers.
General Motors is alleging that its crosstown rival got an unfair business advantage by bribing officials of the United Auto Workers union.
With General Motors and Ford out of the way, the United Auto Workers union wants a similar deal from Fiat Chrysler, which has a workforce of 8,156 in Indiana at four plants in Kokomo and one plant in Tipton.
The four-year agreement gives workers a mix of pay raises and lump-sum payments as well as a $9,000 ratification bonus.
A retired vice president of the United Auto Workers union on Wednesday became the 13th person to be charged in a growing federal investigation of corruption at the union and auto companies.
A high-ranking United Auto Workers official is facing felony charges of embezzlement and fraud, and prosecutors say that several top union officials conspired to steal more than $1.5 million from the union. The Detroit News said one of the unnamed union leaders is union President Gary Jones.
The agreement likely will mirror the pact approved last week by General Motors workers after a 40-day strike.
Some production workers could return to work as early as Friday night or Saturday morning, ending a walkout that was big enough to help push down September U.S. durable goods orders by 1.1%, the largest drop in four months.
Some workers question why union leaders agreed to let General Motors close three factories, wondering if corruption inside the UAW influenced the decision to side with the company.
Details on the four-year pact were posted Thursday on the UAW website as factory level union officials met to decide if they’ll approve the deal. Workers went on strike Sept. 16, crippling the company’s U.S. production and costing it an estimated $2 billion.