In Detroit, allegations in the ongoing corruption case between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the United Autoworkers (UAW) have gone all the way up to the top. Several high ranking union officials have been charged with misusing funds that were intended for the UWA training facility.
For over eight years, FCA funneled more than $9 million through UAW training centers. The automakers are charged with corrupting contract negotiations by bribing union officials– who accepted gifts including expensive jewelry, vacations, and “a $30,000 party for a UAW official, complete with ultra-premium booze, $7,000 worth of cigars and $3,000 in wine with custom labels honoring the union boss.” A recent plea agreement made by Nancy Adams Johnson– the second highest ranking official in the union’s Fiat Chrysler Department– implicated retired UAW President Dennis Williams in the scandal.
Subtly is clearly not a strong suit of these labor bosses.
This case takes place just as another ranking union official– former president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association Norman Seabrook– was found guilty of conspiracy and of accepting a bribe from Platinum Partners hedge fund in New York City.
Seabrook agreed to put $20 million of union money into the hedge fund in exchange for $60,000. The union eventually lost $19 million of that investment, and Platinum Partners is now bankrupt.
Who knows when the next scandal will be uncovered but one thing is for sure: dues-paying union members deserve better representation than this.