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UAW boss, US attorney will discuss preventing corruption

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The head of the United Auto Workers will meet this month with the US attorney in Detroit to discuss potential changes for the union following a wide-ranging corruption probe.

Matthew Schneider, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, has floated the idea of the government taking control of the union and has pushed for letting each member vote on its leadership.

The government’s corruption probe has been embarrassing for the UAW. Ten union officials and a late official’s spouse have pleaded guilty since 2017, including former President Gary Jones.

Some officials used union dues for golf, lodging and fancy meals, while others tapped cash from a Fiat Chrysler-UAW training center with approval from an FCA executive. Others took kickbacks from union contractors.

Dennis Williams, another former president, has not been charged but his California home was searched last summer.

In a joint statement Monday, the union and Schneider said current UAW President Rory Gamble will meet with Schneider June 30 in Detroit to start negotiations on changes for the union. “Both men seek to work together to restore the trust and confidence of the UAW’s membership in the union’s ability to represent them,” the statement said.

Schneider said he looks forward to working with Gamble to resolve some of the serious issues that the UAW has faced. “The UAW’s membership deserves our concerted push to bring about significant and important reforms,” he said.

Currently, the 400,000-member union elects its leadership by voting for delegates who attend a convention every four years. The UAW represents about 150,000 workers employed by Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, but it also includes casino workers, university graduate assistants and others.

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