UAW boss Shawn Fain is under investigation by a federal corruption watchdog

Auto workers united President Shawn Fain is being investigated by the union’s federal corruption watchdog, posing a serious threat to a prominent union figure who has taken on some of the world’s largest corporations and created a great threat. close relationship with the Biden administration.

Court-appointed supervisor, Neil Barofsky by Jenner & Block LLP, said on Monday submit he was investigating allegations that Fain had retaliated against another union officer. The 36-page report describes claims of increasing union blockade and non-cooperation, as well as slow access to documents needed under the sweeping regulations. Decree with consent avoided a formal government takeover in 2020.

The monitor’s report, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, places liability on Fain, who narrowly won the presidency last year by pledging to distance himself from the leadership Top-down and backroom deals have plagued his predecessors. While it remains unclear whether the charges could land Fain in legal trouble, the documents paint a portrait of an organization deeply skeptical of federal efforts to keep the union free from corruption — in stark contrast to Fain’s public image as an ethics-centered activist.

The report came the same day the UAW reached a historic contract agreement with electric vehicle battery maker Ultium Cells LLC, a key highlight of Fain’s agenda to ease the transition. Switch from gasoline-powered cars. The deal would double wages, from a starting wage of $16.50 an hour before the union agreement to $35 after one year of work, based on profits made during the 46-year strike. day last year against three Detroit automakers.

Fain also led a campaign to unite one Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in April, landed First major league victory in the South for decades. But momentum faltered a month later when Mercedes workers in Vance, Ala., firmly rejected the union.

The report identified at least two union officials who said they faced retaliation for not approving some of the spending requested by Fain. Barofsky’s investigation focuses on a recent incident in which Fain stripped an unnamed union vice president who oversaw the UAW’s relationship with Stellantis, reassigned the department under its own control on May 29, citing the official’s “ineffectiveness” regarding collective bargaining. That vice president was identified by Detroit Free Press as Rich Boyer.

Barofsky said he later received allegations from that official and other unnamed union employees that Fain’s reasoning was false.

The real reason, they said, was that the vice president refused to “engage in financial misconduct to benefit others.” The report did not say whether Fain was personally accused of wrongdoing and suggested that the allegations remain unverified.

“At this stage, it is important to emphasize that the allegations are only allegations,” it said. “They have established nothing on their own and nothing in this Report should be construed as drawing any conclusions as to the potential charges, if any, for the alleged misconduct. misconduct.”

In a statement, Fain denied the allegations and said they stemmed from his efforts to change the union.

“Taking our union in a new direction means sometimes you have to rock the boat, and that upsets those who want the status quo, but our members expect this,” Fain said. is better and deserves better than old business as usual.” “We encourage the Supervisors to investigate any complaints brought to their offices, because we know what they will find: UAW leadership is committed to serving its members and running a union democracy. We are focused on winning recording contracts, growing our union, and fighting for social and economic justice on and off the job.”

But perhaps equally damning are allegations that the union has largely stopped cooperating with – and in some cases, is obstructing – a series of investigations after the watchdog began looking into the officers. top position. Barofsky’s report said the union’s cooperation began to erode in February after he began investigating Fain, Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock, and a union regional director.

According to the report, the UAW has slow-processing documents related to the executive board’s decision in February to curtail some of Mock’s powers. The US Department of Justice backed up the custodian’s account in the report, saying that the coalition “is making it difficult, if not impossible, for the Custodian to carry out its mission of eliminating fraud , corruption and illegality from within the UAW.”

The Fain investigation is tied to another investigation into the board’s decision to truncate Mock’s power. The board in February voted to remove Mock’s oversight of certain divisions in response to accusations that she withheld money for political leverage and failed to approve supplies grant for the strike last fall.

According to the report, Mock said the move was in retaliation for “refusal or reluctance” to authorize expenditures that benefited Fain’s office.

The case is US vs UAWED Mich., No. 20-cv-13293, status report dated 6/10/24.


News 7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button