Personally, this is how I see most of these labor union bosses. They aren’t really out for the people they are supposed to serve. They are out for themselves, much like many in the political world. Former UAW President Gary Jones has been charged by federal prosecutors with conspiring to embezzle union funds, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times reports:
For five years, federal investigators have pieced together a broad pattern of corruption within the United Automobile Workers. They documented the diversion of dues for high living by union officials and found a conspiracy that may have compromised dealings with a leading automaker.
Now prosecutors have taken aim at their biggest target yet, charging a former U.A.W. president with embezzlement of union funds. And they left no doubt that there may be more to come — possibly including a federal takeover of the union, a pillar of the nation’s labor movement.
In a criminal filing unsealed Thursday, the former president, Gary Jones, is accused of misusing more than $1 million of union money for extravagant meals, golf outings, cigars, apparel and other purposes over several years before his election in 2018.
He is the highest-ranking U.A.W. official to be prosecuted in the inquiry, in which more than a dozen people have pleaded guilty, including several former union officers and three former Fiat Chrysler executives. One of those executives, the company’s chief labor negotiator, was found to have used funds from a training program for union workers to buy a Ferrari and renovate his home.
“We stand before you because of greed — greed of men in positions of power,” Steven M. D’Antuono, a federal special agent who worked on the case, said on Thursday at a news conference in Detroit.
On their own, the various elements of the scandal, which came to light through an investigation that began in 2015, appear lurid but relatively small-time. In one case, a senior union official who once held a seat on G.M.’s board has pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from companies that supplied the union with commemorative watches.
Zero Hedge adds:
Back in November, we reported Jones’s resignation, which came just weeks after the union struck a deal with General Motors to end one of the longest labor strikes in history. Jones had already been on ‘leave’ for a few weeks when he left. 10 others – mostly former union officials – have pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges as part of the investigation. Jones was initially believed to not be facing charges, though he was allegedly identified as “UAW official A” in the indictment of another union official.
Over the summer, the FBI raided Jones’s home, which we reported at the time.
If he hadn’t resigned, Jones would have been facing a ‘union trial’ over the alleged misuse of funds, though it’s believed he won’t be facing the proceeding now that he has resigned.
Around the same time, GM sued Fiat Chrysler alleging the auto manufacturer bribed top UAW officials to secure better terms during a labor negotiation. The investigation is believed to have initiated over the bribes, which encouraged the union leadership to screw over the workers to whom they were responsible to brazenly enrich themselves.
It’s just another reminder to always be skeptical of those who portray themselves as ‘champions of the working man’.
Jones, 63, is set now to plead guilty to embezzling, racketeering and income tax evasion on March 19, according to the court filing on Friday.
The Detroit News reports:
Since August, federal agents have raided his home, searched his bank accounts, seized more than $32,000 and portrayed him as a thief who tried to cover up crimes and obstruct investigators, according to court records that identified him by the alias “UAW Official A.”
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