It hasn’t been a good week for the leadership of the United Auto Workers Union.
The President of the UAW, Gary Jones, was forced to resign Wednesday amid a federal corruption investigation targeting him for embezzling more than $1.5 million in union funds.
Two months ago, The Detroit News reported that the News had “linked Jones to what federal prosecutors labeled a conspiracy to embezzle more than $1 million in union dues that were spent on personal luxuries in California and Missouri—and three months after federal agents raided his Canton Township home. The News also identified Jones last month as the unnamed UAW officer accused by federal investigators of helping embezzle $700,000 in member dues.
Jones’ tenure lasted 17 months and coincided with an escalating corruption investigation that has produced 10 convictions and charges against 13 people, leaving one of the nation’s largest unions exposed to federal takeover.
The investigation and prosecution that has lasted more than two years have revealed a culture of corruption within the top echelon of the UAW, including labor leaders receiving bribes and kickbacks designed to corrupt the collective bargaining process
Jones became embroiled in the scandal publicly in September 2018 when The News revealed how union leaders had spent more than $1 million on condominiums, liquor, food, and golf in California, where Jones held annual conferences before becoming president.
In mid-September, federal prosecutors accused him of helping orchestrate a conspiracy that involved embezzling member dues. The embezzlement allegations involved UAW leaders stealing money from worker paychecks and spending the money on private villas, expensive meals, and $3,750 bottles of Louis XIII cognac.
Last month, prosecutors accused Jones and top aide Edward “Nick” Robinson of embezzling $700,000 in member dues and splitting the money. Three days later, on Nov. 3, Jones was placed on paid leave.”
Is it any wonder why union membership is way down in this country? Who wants to give their money to a corrupt organization that claims to represent them while also secretly robbing them blind?
Unions represented 35% of American workers in their glory days, but now less than 10% of workers are represented by unions.
Many states, including Michigan, have passed “Right to Work” laws that allow workers to opt out of paying union dues if they so choose.
Compelling workers to join a union in a given industry always ran against the constitutional precept of individual liberty.
The government protected unions for over 100 years by forcing workers in certain industries to join unions, regardless of whether they wanted to or not.
The union leadership has abused its powers for decades. Corruption is rampant in the unions.
And it continues…
CNBC reported that “UAW actions come hours after General Motors filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler and former executives, accusing the automaker of bribing union officials to get favorable terms in three labor contracts under former CEO Sergio Marchionne.”
Union membership is down, and the corruption of their leadership will almost assuredly guarantee that the number of Union workers will continue to diminish.