By on August 28, 2019

The long-running federal probe into dirty dealings between domestic automakers and the United Auto Workers cranked up a few notches on Wednesday, with federal agents reportedly raiding the home of UAW President Gary Jones and ex-UAW boss Dennis Williams.

Sources told The Detroit News that raids were carried out in three states as investigators attempt to uncover just how high in the organization the corruption went. The move comes less than three weeks before UAW-Detroit Three contracts expire.

As you’ve read here, the investigation recently turned its focus from the union’s Fiat Chrysler reps to UAW officials tasked with dealing with General Motors. Earlier this month, federal prosecutors indicted Michael Grimes, a former UAW administrative assistant, on charges of money laundering and wire fraud. The feds accuse Grimes of accepting nearly $2 million in kickbacks over more than a decade.

That indictment adds to an earlier pile of tainted UAW officials tied to the FCA file. To date, nine indictments and eight convictions have resulted from the probe into a years-long flow of lavish bribes and kickbacks between the automakers and union.

From The Detroit News:

Federal agents fanned out to execute search warrants at multiple locations, including Jones’ home in Canton [Michigan] and at the UAW Black Lake Conference Center, a 1,000-acre retreat in northern Michigan financed with interest from the union’s $721 million strike fund, which is bankrolled by worker dues.

Investigators also raided the UAW Region 5 office near St. Louis, where Jones served as regional president before being elected president last year.

The UAW Region 5 office in Hazelwood, Missouri, also was the registered address for Jones’ nonprofit charity, 5 Game Changers. The News previously reported FBI agents are focused on whether UAW leaders personally profited from contributions to their personal nonprofits.

A further raid reportedly took place at Williams’ home in Corona, California. The former UAW prez, who has a target painted on his back after damning testimony by UAW official Nancy Adams Johnson, bought the property in January following his retirement in June 2018. Williams is said to have funnelled automaker cash through the UAW’s training centers and into the pockets of union officials.

The raids couldn’t have occured at a more awkward time, as bargaining continues between the UAW and officials from the Detroit Three. The current contract expires on September 14th, with many predicting that domestic belt-tightening will result in a strike.

[Image: Ford]

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20 Comments on “Report: UAW Probe Ramps Up As Feds Raid Union Boss’s Home...”


  • avatar
    -Nate

    subscribed .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I read elsewhere that the UAW is building a cabin for Williams at Black Lake. I wonder where the money for that came from?

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Every time I read news of the UAW and unions I immediately think of the documentary “Final Offer”. It’s so good I think I’ll watch it again.
    You owe it to yourself to check it out on youtube (it’s free) if you haven’t.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Cactuar ” Final Offer ” …..I was a 30 year old rookie, acting , hourly Group Leader in late 84 .My job was to keep the film crew safe from hazards . I’m standing behind the camera in many of those in plant shots

      Final Offer is definitely worth watching ….Now,..looking back 35 years ??? I believe that the strike of 84 was the very beginning of the end for GM Oshawa…”Final Offer’ illustrates that quite well.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Ugh, you couldn’t dream up a better publicity campaign for management. If there were any justice, the UAW would be decertified and replaced by another union everywhere it’s currently certified.

  • avatar
    hamtrelvis

    For several decades, the UAW’s main income has come from its investment portfolio rather than from membership dues. And they really shame people who drive foreign cars such as Honda’s made in the USA — they’d rather that you drove a Big Three car made in Mexico or China. What’s good for Wall Street is good for the clowns in UAW’s leadership.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      When I was at GM, UAW members almost universally drove UAW built vehicles, but not so much GM, more Ford and Chrysler. The Ford pickup was by far the predominant vehicle in the parking lots. The UAW guys figured out that Roger Smith was using EDS to divert/money launder profits that would have contributed to the employee profit-sharing checks.

  • avatar
    hamtrelvis

    Maybe the UAW should go into receivership. But that didn’t work with the Teamsters who just went ahead and voted for Hoffa’s son, wrongly thinking that would make the Teamsters ‘great again.’

  • avatar
    hamtrelvis

    Maybe the UAW should go into receivership. But that didn’t work with the Teamsters who just went ahead and voted for Hoffa’s son, wrongly thinking that would make the Teamsters ‘great again.’

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Honest question, what would happen if the UAW just disappeared today?

    How would it affect the big 3? How would it affect the workers?

    Would the big 3 start moving more production to Mexico, or would they move production back?

    How are Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, etc. able to manufacture in the US without union workers?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Without the UAW, the Democratic party would stop at nothing to offshore all of our vehicle production.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      That is an interesting question. The only direct comparison I can think of for a pre-UAW to post-UAW scenario is for a single factory, the former NUMMI plant in California now owned by Tesla. It is a testament to the political skills of Musk that he scored that plant for a song, in the middle of a Democrat People’s Republic, with the union magically kicked out.

      Wages, bennies, I don’t know what the spread is for the workers before-and-after. For sure there’s a subset of employees there who were GM/Toyota crew originally and Tesla now. Their opinions and input on the differences would be a good article (ahem, TTAC).

  • avatar
    hamtrelvis

    Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia are good companies that make awesome cars, as opposed to the Big Three which are inferior, if not just plain crappy companies. The Big Three have no qualms about making crappy vehicles and then expecting people to buy them for patriotic reasons. The American unions are crappy unions for crappy corporations. It’s just that sad.

    Honest unions would have my support, but I can’t think of any honest American unions.

  • avatar
    hamtrelvis

    According to today’s Detroit News, UAW rank-and-file will be protesting during Detroit’s Labor Day Parade, and will be gathering signatures for impeachment trials.

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2019/08/30/auto-workers-labor-day-uaw-protest/2154383001/

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