UAW bolsters financial controls after scandal
The United Auto Workers union has replaced its auditing firm, added four internal auditors and has hired a big accounting firm to study its financial controls in an effort to prevent embezzlement and bribery discovered in a federal probe of the union.
The moves announced Monday by Secretary-treasurer Ray Curry come after last month’s resignation of President Gary Jones, who has been implicated in the scandal. Several other union officials have been charged or implicated in the probe, which embarrassed the union leadership and angered many of its 400,000 members when it became public starting in 2017.
Curry says the reforms will put checks and balances in place to prevent financial misconduct.
The scandal exposed weak financial controls at the union, which allowed a bribery scandal involving Fiat Chrysler’s joint training center with the union.
Also exposed were the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the purchase of 58,000 watches for union members by the UAWGeneral Motors training center and an embezzlement scheme at a regional office in St. Louis involving the purchase of thousands of dollars of expensive cigars and alcohol, golf greens fees and rental of swanky villas for union leaders. Funds allegedly were falsely represented as regional conference expenses.
The federal probe brought an unprecedented federal lawsuit from General Motors last month against Fiat Chrysler, alleging the company bribed union officials to get lower labor costs than GM.