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Monday, 21 December 2020 17:02

UAW, Feds Reach Settlement After Corruption Scandal: Here Are the Details

Written by Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press
UAW International President Rory Gamble, left, and U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider on Dec. 14 announced a civil settlement. UAW International President Rory Gamble, left, and U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider on Dec. 14 announced a civil settlement. Eric D. Lawrence/Detroit Free Press

Index

...a federal takeover of the union, which would have been a much harsher action. In August, he told the Free Press he wanted the union to run itself.

 

"We can set a goal to get [the reforms] resolved by the end of this year … by the end of 2020 we have the union in a good place with good leadership," Schneider said then. "I don’t want to run the union. My goal is to get the UAW in a position that it runs itself and that the leadership of the UAW is not corrupt."

 

Schneider had told the Free Press union democracy is “something I’m very interested in … as to having the members of the union pick their leadership.”

 

On Dec. 14, Schneider explained why he feels the issue is key.

 

"For over 70 years, the administrative caucus of the UAW, also known as the Reuther caucus, has controlled elections within the union. This system has added to the UAW’s problems,” Schneider said.

 

It's an area of particular interest to union activists, who have looked to the Teamsters' experience with union democracy as a way to keep the leadership accountable. The UAW currently picks its top leaders by a delegate system at its conventions, although local leaders are selected through direct elections.

 

Union democracy is often described as one member, one vote, and could involve a national election if it were handled as it is at the Teamsters.

 

Scott Houldieson, chair of the UAW activist group Unite All Workers for Democracy, said he is cautiously pleased with what he's heard about the agreement, which he hadn't yet had a chance to review.

 

"I'm pleased that the authority for correcting the problems that exist with the UAW are being placed where it belongs, in the hands of the UAW," said Houldieson, an electrician at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant and a member of UAW Local 551.

 

The group has been advocating for...


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