Federal corruption probe leads to first major overhaul of UAW elections in 70 years

Gary Jones, the newly-elected President of the United Auto Workers (UAW), addresses the 37th UAW Constitutional Convention June14, 2018 at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. Bill Pugliano | Getty Images News | Getty Images

DETROIT – A federal corruption probe into the United Auto Workers has led to an overhaul of the union's elections, potentially bringing an end to a more than 70-year leadership dynasty under which recent leaders accepted bribes and embezzled millions in members' dues and funds.

UAW members and retirees voted to change the union's process of electing leaders from a weighted, delegate-based system to a direct, or “one member, one vote,” election, according to preliminary results published Thursday by a court-appointed UAW monitor.

Of 140,586 votes, 63.7%, favored adopting the “one member, one vote” system with 36.3% preferring the status quo, the monitor reported.

Both the monitor and vote, which still needs to be certified, were results of a settlement between the U.S. Justice Department and union to end a corruption investigation that sent15 people to prison, including two recent UAW presidents and three Fiat Chrysler executives.

Officials say it's unclear how the new voting system will impact companies with workers represented by the UAW, specifically the Detroit automakers. Current leaders could remain in power as a slate backed by a caucus or run independently. An overhaul of union leadership also could occur, creating a wild card situation for companies and potentially placing inexperienced or more combative bargainers in leadership positions.

“There could be one or more or all new leadership at the helm of the union after elections are held,” said Kristin Dziczek, senior vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research. “Whoever wins, caucus or non-caucus, the consequences for companies is that these are going to be folks who want to show value to the membership to get re-elected. The way to hold on to their powers is to get the workers better contracts.”

The UAW's change comes amid a growing union movement in the country that has involved strikes by organized workers, many of whom want to be compensated for working largely throughout the coronavirus pandemic in critical industries such as manufacturing and healthcare. They're also are leveraging the support of President Joe Biden, who has loudly and continuously supported unions and workers organizing.

The first direct election is scheduled in 2022, a year ahead of pivotal contract negotiations with General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler).

Reuther Administrative Caucus

The UAW is broken into an international and local groups. The international runs the operations of the union and leads national bargaining and organizing efforts. It is led by a group called the “International Executive Board,” or IEB, which is made up of elected union officials.

The new voting system will replace one where local union delegates cast a weighted vote based on the size of their membership to elect international leaders. The leaders have run as a slate with little to no opposition for decades.

While local union members elected their delegates, many have criticized the process as being a rubber stamp for results that were already pre-determined by a leadership group known as the Reuther Administrative Caucus.

The group is named after prominent UAW leader Walter Reuther, who retained the presidency from 1946 until his death in 1970 through that system. Whatever slate of leaders the caucus supported has essentially won by a vast majority since he led the union.

Supporters of the UAW's traditional system have touted the union's peaceful and smooth transition of power over the decades as a major benefit. Critics say it allowed for leaders to handpick their successors and incentivized local delegates to support the caucus in hopes of joining it or being given a position in the international union with higher pay.

Leaders in the international union can have annual salaries of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even smaller rolls of servicing representatives, assistants and organizers can easily top $100,000.

More accountability?

Scott Houldieson, a Ford employee from Indiana who has served as a delegate at the last three UAW conventions, said the previous election process also allowed leaders to function without accountability. He believes the system “bred” the recent corruption.

Houldieson, who has been a vocal supporter of “one member, one vote,” has voted against the Reuther Administrative Caucus to the sound of “boos” during the last three UAW conventions. He's now part of a caucus called Unite All Workers for Democracy that plans to challenge the Reuther Administrative Caucus next year.

“The reason I've been so supportive of it is that we need to build accountability into our system,” he said during a phone interview. “I felt that our international leadership was not representing the best interest of our membership.”

FBI agents finish loading materials into a truck out of the home of United Auto Workers President Gary Jones on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.Michael Wayland / CNBC

The impact of the new election system on UAW members as well as companies depends on how the new process is implemented, according to Frank Goeddeke, a senior lecturer in management at Wayne State University in Detroit.

“The devil is always in the details, so that can affect how this is going to play out,” said Goeddeke, who co-wrote a book about the UAW. “I do think that with the one member one vote, I do think that the officers will be more cognizant of how the membership is going to feel about certain things that they do.”

Houldieson described the new voting process as a “huge step in the in the right direction” but said it's just a “first step” in overhauling the union, which is expected to remain under federal moderation through at least mid-decade.

News Related


Reliance doubles down on media, likely to unveil its big strategy soon

Representative image Reliance Industries seems to be zooming in on the media business with a strong push to both broadcasting as well as digital media. The company is also planning to ... Read more »

Wall Street ends down as markets whipsaw ahead of Fed meeting

Representative image US stocks gyrated in afternoon trading to close lower with interest rate sensitive tech stocks weighing most heavily as uncertainties surrounding an increasingly hawkish Federal Reserve and rising ... Read more »

Responsible Online Gambling: Myth or Reality?

Gambling is one of these hobbies where others might look at you with a bit of judgement. The risk of losing money and the potential of developing an addiction have ... Read more »

Experts Predict Rapid Growth of Market for Plant-Based Seafood

Major growth is coming to the plant-based seafood industry as companies find willing investors for the meatless food products that continue to rise in popularity. One of the most significant ... Read more »

Realtors pay bigger-than-average bonuses after 12 months of record sales in Hong Kong defied city's Covid-19 outbreak and gloomy job market

Hong Kong’s realtors will increase the bonus cheques of their clerical staff this year, after 12 months of record property transactions that defied the city’s gloomy labour market and a ... Read more »

Microsoft beats quarterly revenue estimates on cloud strength

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Microsoft Corp exceeded analysts’ expectations for second-quarter revenue on January 25, propelled by strong demand for its cloud-based services from more businesses migrating to hybrid work ... Read more »

Warren Buffett plans in-person Berkshire annual meeting as Omicron wave crests

Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc plans this year to let shareholders attend the company’s annual meeting for the first time in three years, amid signs the Omicron wave ... Read more »

US house leaders unveil chips, China competition bill

US President Joe Biden (File image: AP Photo) US House of Representatives leaders on Tuesday unveiled a bill aimed at increasing US competitiveness with China and supporting the US chip ... Read more »

Tencent, NetEase push Hong Kong stocks higher as investors shrug off Fed rate rise concerns

Hong Kong stocks snapped a two-day losing streak, with tech stocks leading the charge, shaking off jitters of a hawkish Federal Reserve. Oil-related stocks rose on geopolitical tensions. The Hang ... Read more »

GM's $7 billion investment intensifies EV battle with Ford, Tesla

General Motors (Representative Image: Reuters) General Motors Co said Tuesday it will invest $7 billion in Michigan, much of that aimed at dramatically boosting production of full-size electric pickups, intensifying ... Read more »

Adani Wilmar IPO opens tomorrow – Should you subscribe?

Representative image Adani Wilmar Ltd, incorporated in 1999 as a joint venture between Adani Group and Wilmar Group of Singapore, is an FMCG company offering kitchen commodities for Indian consumers ... Read more »

Petrol, Diesel Prices Today on January 26: Check rates in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities

In Delhi, the petrol price remained unchanged and retailed at Rs 95.41 a litre. (Representative image) Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged for the 82nd day in a row on ... Read more »

Share market holiday: BSE, NSE shut today on Republic Day

The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and the BSE will remain closed on January 26 on account of Republic Day. Wholesale commodity markets, including metal and bullion, will also ... Read more »

Hotels in Asia-Pacific likely to see surge in investment this year as coronavirus restrictions ease, JLL report says

Hotels in Asia-Pacific are likely to receive investment of more than US$9 billion this year, a 30 per cent increase from 2021, as countries begin to ease their Covid-19 restrictions ... Read more »

Elon Musk nudges McDonald's to accept Dogecoin: ‘I will eat a Happy Meal on TV'

Elon Musk urged McDonald’s to accept Dogecoin as a form of payment on Twitter. Barcroft Media via Getty Images If Elon Musk gets his way, McDonald’s will become the latest ... Read more »

Saudi restores full ties with Thailand after diamond dispute

The Associated PressIn this photo released by the Saudi Royal Palace, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, welcomes Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, at the royal palace in Riyadh, ... Read more »

Cramer's lightning round: I still believe in Cleveland-Cliffs

Schrodinger: “I don't know. It seems low enough. I know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation own it, but the problem is Cathie Wood owns it [for] ARK. When things ... Read more »

China's top money managers bet on more tech stocks, cut liquor producers to boost returns amid policy challenges

China’s biggest fund managers increased their bets on technology and green-energy stocks at the expense of liquor distillers, taking advantage of depressed valuations following a trillion-dollar sector crash. They had ... Read more »

Logitech turns in strong quarter, but CEO says supply chain woes still held back sales

Logitech's better-than-expected quarterly results may have been stronger without the ongoing supply chain challenges, CEO Bracken Darrell told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Tuesday. “We could have been even better,” Darrell ... Read more »

Will Musk win the mind reading contest?

Right now I am in dire need of some miracles. Fortunately, they are not completely out of the world yet – if you look for a while. Last week I ... Read more »

CN railroad names new CEO, resolves dispute with investor

OMAHA, Neb. — Canadian National railroad on Tuesday named a new CEO and also reached an agreement with the investment fund that has been pushing it to focus more on ... Read more »

CBS: housing stock increased by more than 77,000 last year

Photo: ANP The stock of homes in the Netherlands increased by more than 77,000 last year. This is reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) based on new figures. ... Read more »

Uncle Jack's Steakhouse wants you to tip the kitchen staff

Owner Willie Degel would like to utilize software to give patrons an opportunity to remember unseen crew members. Helayne Seidman Frustrated that you haven’t been able to tip the kitchen ... Read more »

Jim Cramer says Union Pacific is the best railroad stock to own in this market

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday he prefers Union Pacific over industry peer CSX, suggesting investors who want to own a railroad stock go with the Nebraska-based operator. “Don't let the ... Read more »

Cramer says the stock market is being dragged down by 2021's flurry of IPOs and SPAC deals

CNBC's Jim Cramer on Tuesday lamented the flurry of companies that went public in 2021 through traditional IPOs and SPAC deals, suggesting that it's playing a role in Wall Street's ... Read more »

Singapore's higher property tax to have short-term impact on home sales as buyers reconsider options, analysts say

Property demand in Singapore is likely to remain subdued in the first half of the year as buyers digest the latest cooling measures rolled out by the city state, analysts ... Read more »

SKC sees growing farm machinery market

Farm truck maker Siam Kubota Corporation (SKC) has revised down its revenue target to 63 billion baht this year, a slight drop from 2021, despite better business prospects in Thailand's ... Read more »

Mice prospects look bright for new QSNCC Occupancy rate is already at 70%

A digital rendition of the new ‘BALM’ retail space under the concept of ‘Bangkok Active Lifestyle Mall’ at the QSNCC. N.C.C. Management & Development anticipates a boost in revenue of ... Read more »

Salad Factory keen to offer new outlets

Mr Piya, right, and Mr Wiphu announce their collaboration to develop plant-based salad dressings at Salad Factory restaurants. Green Food Factory Co, the operator of Salad Factory restaurants, plans to ... Read more »

SCGP targets 10% revenue growth a year

SCG Packaging Plc (SCGP) expects its total revenue to grow to 180 billion baht within 2027, thanks to merger and partnership (M&P) deals as well as business expansion projects. This ... Read more »

Test & Go a fillip for Thai tourism Despite the optimism, a cautious approach is still required

Tourists relax on a beach on Koh Tao in Surat Thani this month. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan) Following an improvement in Thai tourism during the festive season in December, the industry ... Read more »

Fed mulls rate hike as commodities soar

Analysts suggest investors closely monitor the US Federal Reserve's meeting on Jan 25-26 as the central bank may decide to hike interest rates to curb inflation and spiralling oil prices. ... Read more »

Minister vows to tackle high palm oil prices

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has pledged to tackle high palm oil prices this week after cooking oil prices jumped to nearly 70 baht per bottle from 56-60 baht at the ... Read more »

Burger King leaning on international expansion in rivalry with McDonald's

Restaurant Brands International COO Joshua Kobza noted that the success of their expansion plan is readily apparent when looking at their international growth. Burger King attributes its massive growth to ... Read more »

Renewed push to tidy overhead cables

A rat’s nest of cable wires hang above an overpass on Phahon Yothin Road in Bangkok. Apichit Jinakul The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has vowed to clean up overhead ... Read more »

Digital assets banned for payment Regulators fret about financial stability

Regulators plan to prohibit the use of digital assets to pay for goods and services because it could create a risk for financial stability and the economy. According to a ... Read more »

Forex investors are well placed to profit from divergent US and Chinese monetary policies

With China and the United States going in opposite directions on monetary policy, investors will need to identify how best to benefit from this. In the currency space, this will ... Read more »

Judge says BNSF unions can't strike over new attendance rule

BNSF railroad’s two biggest unions that represent 17,000 workers won’t be able to go on strike over a new attendance policy they say would penalize employees for missing work for ... Read more »

US has sanctions on Russia ready in case of escalation with Ukraine

Asked whether he would support expelling Russia from the Swift system of international payments, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said: "All options are on the table" Read more »

Twitter creates account at Russian regulator's website under ‘localization' law

Under the new law, overseas Internet companies with a daily audience exceeding 500,000 users must open their authorized representative offices in Russia Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic