UAW Reform Group Formed, Urges Democracy Within Scandal-Plagued Union

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UAW President Gary Jones. Source: UAW

“The sad reality is that too many of us have become more loyal to leaders than to the actual principles of unionism.” — Unite All Workers for Democracy


With one immediate past-president of the United Auto Workers having pled guilty to embezzlement, racketeering, and tax evasion, his immediate predecessor reimbursing the UAW $55,000 worth of “inappropriate travel expenses,” and the union facing a possible RICO suit from the Justice Department, a group of members from the scandal-plagued unions has launched a reform group, calling itself Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD).

Formed earlier this year, the UAWD, according its website, “is a grassroots movement of UAW activists united in the common goal of advocating for structural change within our union.”



“UAWD is a member-led movement for reform within the UAW, very much like Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,” the group states.

Although the UAW leaders have not been accused of being controlled by organized crime, like the Teamsters’ executive board once was, the years-long and ongoing corruption probe by federal investigators into the UAW has already led to guilty pleas from 14 people.

Like the TDU, the UAWD is seeking to allow members to vote directly for their union leadership.

“We believe One Member, One Vote is a much more democratic system of voting as opposed to the delegate system that has allowed one party to retain control of the UAW for over 70 years,” the group states on its website.

In its inaugural newsletter, the UAWD wrote:

“Where once the power of the union was derived from a militant workforce, today we find that the power of the UAW has been
consolidated into the hands of a privileged few at the Solidarity House.”

“Our union has become more and more bureaucraticat the expense of internal democracy. The processes of our great Constitution have become stifled with copious amounts of red tape and various loopholes to subvert the will of the membership.”

UAWD Newsletter on Scribd


While it remains unknown whether or not the UAW will be sued under the RICO statutes by the Justice Department, and what remedies that may entail to root out the leadership corruption, it appears that the UAWD wants to have a seat at the table.

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