Beltway Democrats’ Pact With Crooked Union

If U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has her way, autoworkers in current Right to Work states like Michigan and Tennessee will be forced to bankroll the shady UAW union, or be fired. Credit: United Auto Workers (UAW/AFL-CIO)

Nancy Pelosi Reaffirms Partnership With ‘Unethical’ UAW Kingpins

In a legal memorandum submitted to a federal judge in early February, recommending a two-year prison sentence for crooked former United Auto Workers (UAW/AFL-CIO) union official Michael Grimes, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eaton Brown declared:

“The culture of corruption within senior leadership of the UAW is systemic. The need to transform the unethical, greedy and self-indulgent behavior characteristic of the UAW leadership [emphasis added] is long overdue.”

On February 11, the same day Mr. Brown’s words were cited by journalist Robert Snell in the Detroit News, the Chicago-based communist publication People’s World featured a report regarding efforts by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other D.C. Beltway Democrats to deepen their alliance with the UAW brass.

Having to choose Richard Trumka or their constituents, 66 Right to Work state solons chose Mr. Trumka. Credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook

Union Bosses ‘Embezzled Money’ From Workers, ‘Shook Down Union Contractors’

At the UAW Legislative/Political Conference in February, Ms. Pelosi (D-Calif.), along with other union-label politicians like Reps. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) and Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), unapologetically courted the support of a union that is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.

In Mr. Snell’s words, the investigation has already revealed that UAW officials “embezzled money from worker paychecks, shook down union contractors and schemed with auto executives.”

On February 7, Vance Pearson, until recently the UAW’s Region 5 director and a close aide of former UAW President Gary Jones, became the eighth UAW official to be convicted of a crime in connection with the ongoing federal probe.

He pleaded guilty after being accused of “helping embezzle more than $1.5 million in union funds spent on personal luxuries for labor leaders, including golf, cigars, private villas and liquor in Palm Springs, Calif., and elsewhere,” as a Detroit News account explained.

According to the News, the plea deal portrays Mr. Pearson “as carrying out orders” from Mr. Jones and his predecessor as UAW president, Dennis Williams, “to rent private villas and buy large quantities of cigars and alcohol.”

Mr. Pearson covered up such expenditures “by filing phony reports with the union.”

For nearly a decade, Mr. Pearson, Mr. Jones, Mr. Williams, and at least four other UAW bigwigs participated in this “racketeering enterprise,” according to federal prosecutors.

Federal prosecutors are now investigating whether UAW kingpins “received cash kickbacks or bribes in exchange for awarding lucrative contracts” to Michigan businessman Jason Gordon “to supply union-branded merchandise.”

Sitting UAW union President Rory Gamble is one of the officials whose association with Mr. Gordon is currently being “probed.”

Pro-Union Coercion Policies Are Key Sources Of Union Corruption

Government-authorized monopoly bargaining, which makes employees almost completely dependent on union officials for their job security and pay increases, and forced union dues are key reasons why dishonest, greedy people like Vance Pearson frequently choose to become union officials.

And the freedom of the individual employee to refuse to bankroll corrupt union officials, now protected by Right to Work laws in 27 states, serves as a significant, albeit far from sufficient, check on union bosses who are inclined to spend workers’ dues for their personal benefit.

Unfortunately, legislation recently rubber-stamped by the U.S. House of Representatives would effectively eliminate all state Right to Work laws and thus make it even easier for shady union bosses to abuse workers.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad explained:

“On February 6, a 224-member majority of House members, led by Nancy Pelosi, gave the green light to H.R.2474, the so-called ‘PRO Act,’ which would render Right to Work laws meaningless for private-sector employees by authorizing the extraction of forced union fees from employees as a job condition nationwide. [For more information about the PRO Act, see page eight.]

“The same week the PRO Act sailed through the House, Ms. Pelosi even had the nerve to enlist operatives of the corrupt UAW union to help elect this November a Senate that would join the House in giving the go-ahead to the PRO Act, as well as a President who would sign it into law!

“If Nancy Pelosi and company have their way, unionized autoworkers in current Right to Work states like Michigan and Tennessee will be forced to bankroll the UAW ‘racketeering enterprise,’ or be fired.”

Mr. Mourad vowed that the National Right to Work Committee and its members would do everything possible to ensure that Ms. Pelosi and her cohorts do not succeed.