Labor Union Representing Lordstown Auto Workers Rocked By Scandal

The labor union solely responsible for the future of Ohio’s Lordstown Auto Complex was blasted Wednesday in Tennessee for the myriad of scandals that have plagued the organization over the past several years.

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, commonly known as the United Automobile Workers, or UAW, is one of the largest international labor unions in the country. For more than five years, the union has been lobbying for the unionization of a Volkswagen plant, based in Chattanooga. The plant currently employs more than 3,500 workers.

In 2014, the plant held a vote among eligible workers on the weather on not they should unionize. The vote failed by a total of 712-626. On April 29th and 30th, a new vote will be held and the UAW has been heavily focused on ensuring that the plant votes for unionization this time.

In response to this, a nonprofit organization ran a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press blasting the UAW, citing statements made by the U.S. Department of Justice and a local law professor, noting, among other things, the union had “…a culture of corruption among senior leadership….”. The ad doesn’t directly acknowledge the upcoming vote however, it does encourage readers to go to the website:

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The website outlines a litany of offenses by the organization, most specifically in the categories of “Corrupt Leadership, Lavish Lifestyles, Member Neglect,” and “Plant Closures,” as well as articles that substantiate the claims. they note that, in the past year, more than half a dozen UAW officials have pleaded guilty to various accusations of misusing union funds,

The website, ad, and campaign were all paid for and organized by the Center for Union Facts. The organization describes themselves as:

The Center for Union Facts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fights for transparency and accountability in America’s labor movement. For too long, big unions have opposed employee rights, engaged in self-dealing and corruption, and made excessive demands that have killed tens of thousands of jobs and driven major cities into bankruptcy.

The site also explicitly states that they are not against unions but: “We are against union officials’ abuse of power at the expense of their own rank-and-file members.”
The UAW currently represents the workers of the, rapidly shuttering, Lordstown Assembly Complex in Ohio. As previously reported:

A team from the UAW’s national headquarters is currently still engaged on ongoing negotiations with GM in the hope of seeing the plant revived. While the GM team has publicly insisted that the plant was shuttered as part of a greater move to scale down production of the Cruze, that vehicle has actually seen an increase in production at GM plants in Mexico and China.

These accusations have not yet affected those discussions, however, the UAW’s conduct has raised questions about their ability to conduct these negotiations.

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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected].
Photo “Lordstown Complex” by Lordstown Assembly. 





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