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Economy

Corruption Corrodes the UAW

The workers aren't the problem. It's the big whigs pocketing big money from cronies.

Business Review Board · Sep. 4, 2019

As we marked Labor Day Monday, it’s interesting timing to note a painful truth: Union workers are being exploited by union bosses. Last week, The Detroit News reported that Big Labor big whigs may be living a bit too high on the hog:

Federal agents expanded an investigation of corruption within the U.S. auto industry … by raiding locations in four states, including the suburban Detroit home of United Auto Workers President Gary Jones and the California home of former President Dennis Williams…

The four-year federal investigation into bribes, kickbacks and attempts by auto executives to influence labor negotiations with the UAW has led to charges against nine people and prison sentences for eight figures linked to the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

The raids at six locations in Michigan, California, Wisconsin and Missouri uncovered evidence including “wads” of cash and files that could bolster federal investigations into UAW leaders spending dues paid by blue-collar workers on personal luxuries, vacations and private villas in Palm Springs, California…

The searches, coinciding with national labor negotiations among the UAW and Detroit automakers, and potential new criminal charges raise the specter of Justice Department officials wielding a powerful and rarely used tool to wrest control of the UAW — civil racketeering law.

The Washington Examiner’s editorial board puts that in perspective: “This means the nation’s most iconic union may soon be officially branded a criminal conspiracy.”

If confirmed, auto executives certainly share a big part of the blame for this corruption. And with current labor deals with Detroit’s Big Three — GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler — set to expire on Sept. 14, it’s little wonder that the skids were being greased.

Yet while union executives are raking in the dough, union workers are left with fewer jobs. It’s no wonder blue-collar workers voted for Donald Trump in 2016. What have Democrats and union bosses done for them? It’s also no wonder Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga have rejected — twice — UAW efforts to unionize the plant. Likewise, workers at a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, rejected unionization. And UAW membership dropped 8% in 2018, down to 396,000 members. It’s seems that many Americans don’t want their hard-earned dollars funding Democrat political causes or corruption among the top brass.

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