‘Union Corruption’ Is ‘on the Ballot’ Today in Right to Work Michigan

The top echelon of the United Auto Workers was so corrupt officials committed crimes out of fear they would lose six-figure jobs, travel perks and expense accounts and be forced to return to the factory floor, according to federal court filings.

That’s the first paragraph of the latest report concerning a years-long criminal investigation that has exposed “a culture of corruption inside the senior leadership” of the UAW union, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardley.  Top union bosses are accused of pilfering, with the assistance of corrupt Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) executives, millions of dollars from a worker training center to enrich themselves with condos, vacations, conferences and personal luxuries, and also to cover union payroll expenses.

Another recent news report alleges that UAW kingpins are using interest money from the union’s strike fund, which is financed with forced dues and fees that autoworkers in states like Illinois and Missouri must fork over, or be fired, to build an $850,000 lakeside vacation “cottage” for recently retired UAW union President Dennis Williams.  To save money, UAW bosses decided to build this vacation home with nonunion labor!

Many Michigan autoworkers are surely unhappy about the fact that, as a consequence of the pro-union monopoly National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), they are forced to accept a union that the FBI labels as a “coconspirator” in the scheme by crooked UAW bosses and FCA executives to loot the FCA worker training center as their “exclusive” bargaining agent on matters concerning their pay, benefits and work rules.

But thanks to Michigan’s Right to Work law, which was adopted in late 2012 and took effect five-and-a-half years ago, Wolverine State autoworkers at least don’t have to bankroll a union hierarchy that they may reasonably regard as corrupt and hypocritical in order to keep their jobs.

Unfortunately, Gretchen Whitmer, the Democrat nominee for Michigan governor and, according to professional political pundits, the favorite to win in today’s election, wants to take away Right to Work protections from autoworkers and other employees in her state.  She is vowing, if elected, to push for repeal of Michigan’s Right to Work law so that employees can once again be forced to bankroll a union they don’t want, and never asked for, on pain of being fired.

Commentator Liz Peek rightly observes in a column published today that “union corruption” is “on the ballot” in Michigan.  But regardless of what happens today in Michigan’s executive and state legislative races, the National Right to Work Committee and its members will continue fighting to keep Michigan’s and the other 26 state Right to Work laws on the books and to pass additional laws prohibiting compulsory union dues and fees at the state and federal levels.

Even though federal prosecutors have repeatedly labeled the United Auto Workers uniion as a “coconspirator” in a multi-year scheme to loot funds from a worker training center and violate the National Labor Relations Act, gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer thinks Michigan autoworkers should be forced to pay money to UAW union bosses in order to keep their jobs. Image: Whitmer campaign.