A federal court recently approved the United Auto Workers referendum results, meaning that the union’s members will now directly elect their officers. This move aims to be part of the solution (along with a court-appointed watchdog) geared toward curbing UAW corruption (which has persisted for over a decade with prison sentences handed out to several union officials, including former UAW presidents), once and for all.
Not so fast, though. Three fresh federal lawsuits point the finger toward UAW’s Chrysler corruption scandal, and these filings set the stage for more impropriety to come to light. All told, the cases (which landed in Michigan and Ohio courts) lay out the case for UAW officials secretly working behind the scenes with Fiat Chrysler while these union officials neglected to address concerns of workers who they claimed to represent.
All three cases put allegations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations on the table, and the accusations are nothing to take lightly. In effect, UAW officials allegedly accepted bribes from Chrysler and adopted “company-friendly positions” while pressuring workers to accept lower pay for full-time jobs. Further, the union officials allegedly declined to file labor grievances on behalf of workers and never made a move to update older collective bargaining agreements.
In other corruption news, the Freedom Foundation recently released a report that detailed how over 200 labor unions seized upon the pandemic-driven Paycheck Protection Program in early 2020 before they were eligible (per the Small Business Administration rules at that time). In doing so, these unions received forgivable loans to the tune of over $36 million, about a year before unions qualified for this relief (due to a provision in the Biden-signed American Rescue Plan).
As the Washington Free Beacon notes, the second-largest reported loan of the bunch went to the national Teamsters organization, which the report lists as accepting a $3.3 million loan. The Freedom Foundation’s findings also detail the penalties (for making intentionally false statements to secure these loans) ranging from 5-30 years in prison and up to a $1,000,000 fine, so it’s fair to say that the subject is an open-ended one.