Spineless Executives of Auto Behemoth Seem Ready to Bestow Them
Does United Auto Workers (UAW/AFL-CIO) Vice President Cindy Estrada have no shame?
Since 2018, roughly a dozen national UAW bosses, including two former presidents and two former vice presidents, have pleaded guilty to taking bribes from vendors and/or stealing union treasury money to buy vacation time at private villas, expensive restaurant meals, cigars, liquor, and much more.
Nevertheless, Ms. Estrada is publicly insisting it is necessary and appropriate that General Motors (GM) go out of its way to help the hierarchy of the tainted UAW seize monopoly-bargaining power over two new battery cell factories the company is building in Lordstown, Ohio, and Spring Hill, Tenn.
For Years, Corrupt Union Bigwigs and Auto Executives Conspired Against Workers
Even more disturbing than Ms. Estrada’s brazen demand is how GM CEO Mary Barra is now publicly signaling, through corporate spokesmen, that she and other executives of the Detroit-based multinational firm are ready to give UAW officials the very special privileges for which they are clamoring.
On March 1, a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executive admitted, as part of a federal guilty plea, that the FCA brass had engaged in a multi-year conspiracy with UAW union bosses to violate federal labor laws.
The company, now part of Stellantis, acknowledged paying more than $3.5 million in bribes to UAW chieftains like former Vice Presidents General Holiefield and Norwood Jewell.
The money was siphoned off from union training funds that were supposed to be spent helping workers.
Prosecutorial Spokeswoman: Criminal Investigation of Individuals Is Ongoing
As part of its own settlement with federal authorities, the UAW hierarchy forked over more than $16 million in fines and penalties related to crimes committed by union bosses.
Of course, this money came out of the pockets of rank-and-file workers.
To avoid prosecution as a criminal enterprise, the UAW acquiesced last December to the installation, also at rank-and-file workers’ expense, of a federal monitor tasked with eradication of corruption within the union. The oversight is expected to last six years.
Although the probe into the UAW itself is now over, the “criminal investigation of individuals,” possibly including current UAW chiefs, is “ongoing,” according to a May 11 Detroit News article citing Gina Balaya, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit.
National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad commented:
“In view of the undeniable facts about rampant UAW corruption, top officers of this union would be hard-pressed to secure monopoly-bargaining privileges at the two new battery cell factories GM is building, if it had to rely on votes cast by workers in a secret-ballot election.
“Rather than count on their ability to persuade workers in Ohio and Tennessee that, despite everything, the UAW deserves their trust, current union bigwigs like Cindy Estrada began loudly demanding this spring that GM acquiesce to so-called ‘card checks’ at these facilities.
“‘Card checks,’ which the Obama/Biden Administration tried unsuccessfully to mandate nationwide in 2009 and 2010, only to be thwarted by massive public opposition led by Right to Work members and supporters, deny employees the opportunity to cast a private ballot in support of or opposition to unionization.”
“Instead, union bosses can entrench themselves as employees’ monopoly-bargaining agents, with ‘exclusive’ power to deal with managers on key workplace matters, simply by extracting a sufficient number of signed ‘union authorization cards.’”
A Compelling Illustration Of Why Right to Work Laws Are So Important
“Workers who prefer to say ‘No’ to the union never get a chance to do so in privacy. Instead, they must do so, if they dare, while under union organizers’ watchful eyes,” explained Mr. Mourad.
On May 25, GM tipped its hand that it would go along with anti-worker “card checks” in the battery factories it is building in partnership with Ultium LLC by issuing a statement proclaiming the UAW would be “well positioned to represent” the workers at both facilities.
“If the statement is, as it seems to be, a signal that GM is ready to go along with ‘card check’ intimidation of its employees, it’s bad news for employees. But it also illustrates why Right to Work laws are so important: They protect the employee’s free choice when neither union bosses nor business management will,” Mr. Mourad concluded.
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