By on November 1, 2019

Image: UAW

It’s hard to keep up with the indictments stemming from the federal probe into corruption within the upper ranks of the United Auto Workers, but the trail keeps leading to one place: the top.

Numerous media sources claim UAW President Gary Jones, whose home was raided by FBI agents in August, is a key figure in an embezzlement scheme outlined in documents filed this week in a Detroit federal court. Jone’s top aide, Edward Robinson, stands charged with conspiracy and fraud, with prosecutors claiming he and others funnelled $1.5 million out of UAW coffers over a nine-year span.

Robinson, 72, calls St. Louis home; his other duties include heading a regional UAW community action program council. The 12th UAW current or former UAW official to be indicted in the ongoing probe, Robinson is charged with conspiracy to embezzle union funds and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

While the court documents do not name Jones, they do claim that Robinson conspired to steal $700,000 and split the loot with “UAW Official A,” Reuters reports. The outlet’s sources claim Jones is the mystery individual; sources speaking to The Detroit News say the same. According to the court documents, the embezzlement took place between 2010 and September 2019.

“We take any allegation or claim about the misuse of union resources very seriously,” the union said in a release. “The UAW is grounded in the principle of putting our members first, and that belief has never wavered.”

The documents also cite “UAW Official B,” which is believed to be former president Dennis Williams. Member dues were allegedly spent on high-class living by the group of UAW execs, with the purloined funds going towards private villas, golf equipment, cigar paraphernalia, and high-end booze.

The past several months has brought numerous revelations and arrests, including that of UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson. So widespread was the documented corruption, that General Motors decided, in its now-ratified contract agreement, to shut down its joint training center in Detroit and sell off the land. In the future, it will provide space for UAW member training and activities.

[Image: UAW]

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5 Comments on “UAW Boss Again Fingered in Embezzlement Probe; Top Aide Charged...”

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I recommend that everyone interested in the auto unions/labour relations and Canada/US relations takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to watch Final Offer, a documentary filmed by the National Film Board of Canada. It is available free on-line from the NFB and on YouTube.

    Although nearly 35 years old, it helps demonstrate the difference between the ‘social unionism’ that exists in Canada and the ‘business unionism’ which is prevalent in the USA. One reason that Canada has a political party committed to ‘social democracy’, the NDP originally founded by a coalition between unions, church groups and farm co-operatives.

    American leadership in the UAW basically rolled over in negotiations with GM in the round being filmed. The Canadians were so upset that shortly thereafter they left and formed their own union.

    Concern that some senior UAW officials were ‘too close’ to the executives of the D3. Looks like that may still be ‘a thing’.

    Now I can also argue that was a mistake as the UAW no longer has Canadian members to support and therefore can throw Canadian plants ‘under the bus’.

    Here is a link (hope it shows). Also it is ‘of its time’, lots of middle aged white guys sitting around cursing.

  • avatar

    Shouldn’t the boss first be convicted and sentences to lock-up before being fingered?

    • 0 avatar

      Fingering is the accusation. The trial, conviction, and sentencing phase comes later. If you’re referring to fingering in prison, that’s foreplay, the least of the guy’s worries.

  • avatar

    “In the future, it will provide space for UAW member training and activities.” – In house, of course!!!

  • avatar

    Decertify the UAW. Replace it with a union that actually responds to members.

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