Shady UAW Dons Evidently Holding Out For ‘Friendlier’ Prosecutors
On June 3, high-living union honcho Gary Jones became the 10th senior official of the United Auto Workers (UAW, AFL-CIO) to plead guilty to federal crimes since 2017 in connection with an ongoing probe into embezzlement, racketeering, and labor law violations.
As recently as November 2019, Mr. Jones was the UAW union’s general president.
According to the Jones plea agreement, the union kingpin’s crimes spanned from 2010-19, a period during which he rose from heading a union regional office near St. Louis to the UAW’s highest office.
In the words of Detroit News reporter Robert Snell, Mr. Jones “admitted to scheming with at least six” other “senior union officials” to spend more than a million dollars in union treasury money, much of it forced dues extracted from employees in non-Right to Work states.
The luxury items included “more than $750,000 spent on private villas, cigars, golf equipment and apparel, meals and liquor — including $400 bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne and Canadian vodka served in a crystal skull.”
In a bid to reduce his sentence, Mr. Jones is cooperating with ongoing investigations of other top UAW officials.
Current UAW Head’s Ties to Union Vendor, Kickbacks Allegedly Being Probed
He is reportedly providing information about current UAW President Rory Gamble, as well as Mr. Jones’ immediate predecessor as UAW chief, Dennis Williams, and former Vice President Jimmy Settles.
According to a mid-May report in the News, investigators are “probing allegations of strip club payoffs in exchange for contracts to supply union-brand merchandise, . . . as well as financial ties” between Mr. Gamble, Mr. Settles, “and one of the union’s highest paid vendors.”
And workers employed in states that still lack Right to Work protections for employees, such as Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, can still be forced to pay Mr. Gamble’s ample salary while the FBI investigates him.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, who heads the ongoing investigation into corruption among UAW bosses and auto industry executives, has publicly suggested again and again that unless Mr. Gamble and his lieutenants become substantially more cooperative, a government takeover of the union is likely. But top UAW bosses are reported to be holding out.
They may be calculating that the enormous coerced-dues political clout they wield will enable them to escape without either genuinely cooperating or being taken over.
Corruption Prosecutor Likely To Be Replaced if Joe Biden Wins in November
As News Associate Business Editor Daniel Howes observed in a June 9 column, Mr. Schneider is a Trump political appointee who “stands to lose his job” if Mr. Biden wins in the fall “and January brings a new Democratic administration presumably more friendly to the UAW” brass and Big Labor in general.
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commented:
“As Mr. Howes put it, a federal takeover of the corruption-ridden UAW would surely entail ‘the early retirements of a cadre of union officials.’
“That’s what happened just over 30 years ago when the feds took over the mob-infested International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
“The ‘stalling’ by UAW officials is a signal they expect Donald Trump to be replaced soon by pro-forced unionism challenger Joe Biden, whose Justice Department will let them off the hook.
“Mr. Howes considers it to be an excessively risky strategy, because a Trump second term is a ‘distinct possibility given the dynamics of the economy’ and other salient factors.
“But that is a risk the UAW hierarchy seems willing to take.”
Biden Justice Department ‘Will Be Tainted From Day One’
Shortly before this Newsletter edition went to press in early July, Mr. Gamble finally did hold a meeting with investigators after months of putting them off, but little progress is reported so far to have resulted from it.
“Ordinary Americans have ample reason to suspect,” charged Mr. Mix, “that there is a connection between Boss Gamble’s enthusiastic endorsement of Joe Biden’s presidential bid on April 21 and his nonchalance in the face of U.S. Attorney Schneider’s warnings about a federal takeover of the UAW.
“The UAW’s political operatives can be expected over the next few months to deploy millions of dollars in coerced dues for schemes to elect Mr. Biden and other pro-union monopoly candidates — unless these politicians speak out now, repudiating the support of what is evidently a criminal enterprise.”
Last month, acting on behalf of Right to Work members and supporters across the country, Mr. Mix wrote to Mr. Biden and other candidates who have been endorsed by and/or received cash contributions from UAW kingpins to ask them to disavow those union bosses and return any money they have received from them.
“It is especially urgent for Joe Biden to disassociate himself from Rory Gamble and other UAW bosses who potentially face criminal prosecution,” said Mr. Mix.
“Unless he repudiates UAW officials’ support now, if Joe Biden is elected President, his Justice Department will be tainted from day one.”