UAW Prez Gary Jones Resigns Amid Corruption Probe

United Auto Workers President Gary Jones and General Motors CEO and Chairman Mary Barra shake hands during an event on Sept. 3 to officially open contract negotiations in Detroit. (General Motors)

Today, UAW President Gary Jones announced that he was resigning amid corruption charges and anger over botched contract talks at GM. Members around the UAW took to facebook to celebrate the resignation.

“Its about time,” wrote UAW Local 1097 Recording Secretary Chris Brancato, whose 8000-local voted against the GM contract by a margin of 5-to-1 in October.

The move came as the United Auto Workers executive board voted unanimously today to begin the formal legal procedures under Article 30 of the union’s constitution. In addition, the UAW also voted to begin procedures to remove Jones’ deputy Vance Pearson, who has plead guilty to corrupt charges, from office.

“This is a somber day, but our UAW Constitution has provided the necessary tools to deal with these charges,” said UAW Acting President Rory Gamble. “We are committed at the UAW to take all necessary steps including continuing to implement ethics reforms and greater financial controls to prevent these type of charges from ever happening again.”

The moves comes as the corruption probe deepens into the UAW.

Today, General Motors announced that they were suing Chrysler for racketeering. GM charges that by bribing top UAW officials that Chrysler had an unfair advantage in contract talks in 2015.

A racketeering lawsuit could possibly reveal even more corruption within the UAW. Many fear that the Trump Administration may move to prosecute the union for racketeering and place it under federal oversight.

Already, anti-union forces have successfully used the corruption scandal to hurt the UAW in their efforts to unionize Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, where the UAW lost by a swing of 29 votes in June.

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered everything from Lula & the Brazilian labor movement to major league baseball. He spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian and was labeled by the New York Times as an "abrasive gadfly" for exposing within the labor movement. Raised in a UE union family in Pittsburgh, Elk was illegally for union organizing at Politico in 2015 and used his NLRB settlement to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and is fluent in both Pittsburghese and Portuguese, which he learned when attending journalism school at PUC-Rio de Janerio. Email: [email protected]

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