The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a proposed civil settlement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) in the gigantic corruption case that absorbed two former presidents and a slew of union officers over the last few years. With many involved already serving the first part of their prison sentence, the UAW has reportedly agreed to hold a referendum among the rank-and-file to change the way it elects the top brass. The proposal predictably includes some court oversight designed to catch any new instances of fraud coming from inside the union but doesn’t appear to address the corporate aspect.
As a positive, it’s not assumed that the union will see a complete government takeover. Like laundry, it’s already better to separate your alleged corruption to create legal buffer zones.
Hoping to bounce back from its ongoing corruption scandal, the UAW announced the placement of its new independent ethics officer on Wednesday. The union group expressed a need for an independent ethics officer after Rory Gamble took over for defamed former UAW President Gary Jones late last year.
“As the acting president, I’m committed to putting in place the right mechanisms to safeguard our union, regaining the trust of our members, and ensuring the misconduct that has recently come to light will never happen again,” Jones explained in November. “That is why I am ordering immediate actions that will lay the foundation for a more transparent, more accountable, and more responsible future for our union.”
The UAW then launched an national search for an ethics officer. This week, it settled on former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board Wilma Liebman.
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, former UAW Acting President Rory Gamble, who took over the top spot when scandal sunk former prez Gary Jones, has been appointed president of the union.
The ongoing federal corruption probe into the UAW hasn’t ended, but Jones’ presidency did after media outlets named him as one of the shadowy UAW officials mentioned in embezzlement-related court documents. First order of business for Gamble after taking over last month? Clean up the UAW’s act.
At this point, ensuring basic adherence to the law among his executives would suffice. Acting UAW President Rory Gamble, who took on the role after President Gary Jones stepped aside on Saturday amid mounting scrutiny over potential illegality, claims he’s sure there are no bad apples among the union’s executive board.
That said, he plans to root out any form of the illegal behaviour that, so far, has seen 13 UAW or automaker officials charged with fraud, embezzlement, and conspiracy in an ongoing federal probe. In the wake of charges laid against former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton this morning, Gamble is donning the title of Mr. Clean.
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.
Hot on the heels of charges laid against his top aide, UAW President Gary Jones has taken a leave of absence, the union stated Saturday morning.
Two days ago, federal prosecutors charged UAW official Edward Robinson with conspiracy and fraud in an embezzlement scheme alleged to involve a number of top union execs. Sources who spoke to several media outlets this week fingered Jones as the “UAW Official A” mentioned in court documents.
Jones, who was nearly invisible in the ongoing contract talks between Detroit Three automakers and UAW bargaining teams, is alleged to have shared in the spoils of a nearly decade-long scheme that saw $1.5 million in union dues funnelled into executives’ pockets.
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