If the allegations prove true, that former UAW president Dennis Williams instructed staff to use training center funds for union expenses, the UAW corruption scandal that has plagued the union for the last year goes all the way to the top of the union.
For the last year, the United Auto Workers has been plagued with a scandal that has called into question the validity of its representation of workers at Fiat Chrysler.
According to federal prosecutors, union executives were kept “fat dumb and happy” with millions being bestowed upon them in gifts and payments from moneys that were meant to go to a FCA workers training center.
While, much has been focused on those involved with the FCA training center, one of those accused has now implicated the recently retired UAW president Dennis Williams as having directed the misuse of funds.
This, from the Detroit News, is stunning:
A former labor official told federal prosecutors that United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams directed subordinates to use funds from Detroit’s automakers, funneled through training centers, to pay for union travel, meals and entertainment.
As part of a plea agreement filed Monday, Nancy Adams Johnson told investigators Williams made the directive to relieve pressure on the union’s budget. Williams, the union’s president from 2014 until mid-June, and the UAW had no comment on the allegations made by Adams Johnson, the second-highest ranking official in the union’s Fiat Chrysler department.
Money filtered through the training centers for the benefit of UAW officials is at the center of a widening scandal that has led to seven convictions, a shakeup at the highest levels of the auto industry and raised questions about the sanctity of labor negotiations between the union and Detroit’s automakers.
If the allegations are true, and Williams was complicit in the misuse of training center funds, this may mean the scandal is wider than the misuse of FCA funds by a few bad actors. It may spread across to the other automakers and other UAW leaders as well.