Acting UAW President Promises Improved Conduct

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
acting uaw president promises improved conduct

With UAW President Gary Jones taking a leave of absence during a broadening corruption probe into the union, acting head Rory Gamble is attempting to reassure members that there’ll be no more funny business.

“I know recent events concerning members of our leadership have disappointed and angered many of you. I am angry as well, but I am not here to pre-judge anyone. I am here to take this union forward,” he wrote in a letter.

The message, published Tuesday, saw Gamble take a firm stance on corruption and a slightly softer one regarding previously accused (or convicted) union leaders.

“However, I want you to know that I will not excuse or tolerate any inappropriate actions, period. That is my promise to you,” he wrote. “From this day on, the UAW must not only adhere to the highest standards of conduct, put in place by former leaders like Walter Reuther. We need to exceed them. And that is my first priority.”

The federal probe that started with former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli in 2017 has ballooned immensely. Each member of the Detroit Three has become suspect, with 10 guilty pleas secured (primarily from UAW officials) and more looking to be on the way. Federal prosecutors allege union leaders stole money from membership programs and spent it on luxury items and extravagant trips.

While auto executives like Iacobelli were also implicated in embezzlement schemes and union bribery, it’s been difficult to prove upper management endorsed these plans. Most of the legal weight has fallen upon UAW leadership — as it seems to be the group with the most people holding the proverbial bag.

Unlike Jones, Gamble promised to keep in routine contact with union members and the media.

“This will be the first of many messages to my brothers and sisters,” he said in his letter. “I want you to know that I will be communicating with you regularly on how this union will adapt and grow stronger. We will undertake measures to make sure that happens.”

[Image: James R. Martin/Shutterstock]

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2 of 12 comments
  • Crtfour Crtfour on Nov 06, 2019

    Too late from my standpoint. I swore off buying UAW vehicles 10 years ago and a "new and improved" UAW will not change that.

  • Lokki Lokki on Nov 06, 2019

    The acting President is just going to have to suffer along on his salary without graft income... for a while: “ Salary for the president's position is reported to be $200,700 per year. ” But he’s hardly overpaid in comparison to the UAW staff: Be sure to scroll down through the list for a ways.... you find lots of interesting stuff, Say the HVAC operator who pulls in a cool (heh) $118,000 a year Don’t feel too badly for him; he apparently has seniority over his co-worker who only gets $105,000, and he’s much better paid than the $65,000 a year Clerk/Typist.

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