June 19, 2024
Industry News

Investigation underway into UAW president Shawn Fain for alleged retaliation against fellow union leaders

DETROIT — United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain is currently being investigated by an independent federal monitor for alleged retaliation against other union leaders, as per a court filing on Monday.

The monitor, Neil Barofsky, initiated the investigation in February to examine claims, including allegations from UAW Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock about facing retaliation for not authorizing specific expenses for Fain’s office. Barofsky also launched a separate inquiry into Mock’s actions.

In response, Fain stated that he fully supports the monitor’s investigation into any claims brought forward, emphasizing the UAW’s commitment to serving its members and operating as a democratic union.

Fain further expressed that bringing about change within the union may sometimes involve disrupting the status quo, which can lead to discontent among those resistant to change.

Barofsky was appointed as the federal monitor in 2021 amidst a corruption scandal within the UAW that resulted in the conviction of several former leaders, including former UAW presidents serving prison sentences.

Additionally, the monitor expanded the investigation to include allegations made by Fain against the head of the union’s Stellantis department, Rich Boyer. Fain assumed Boyer’s responsibilities at the end of May.

Concerning these developments, union officials were not available for immediate comment on behalf of Boyer and Mock.

Fain alleged that he reassigned Boyer’s duties due to Boyer’s failure to fulfill obligations related to collective bargaining issues, which led to additional complaints of retaliation against Boyer for refusing to participate in financial misconduct.

The monitor noted delays in receiving requested documents from the union, highlighting that only a fraction of the relevant documents had been provided by UAW officials thus far.

The Department of Justice informed the monitor that the union’s actions were hindering his efforts to address fraud, corruption, and illegality within the UAW.

Fain assumed his leadership role after narrowly winning the union’s first direct election last year. He led the UAW through a significant strike against Detroit automakers and is currently spearheading an organizing campaign across the U.S. South and West.

In a recent setback, the union lost a vote at a Mercedes plant in Alabama, although it previously achieved a victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

Fain’s influence has grown during this election year, with President Joe Biden seeking support from auto workers and Michigan voters. Biden publicly supported Fain and the striking auto workers during a visit to Michigan and also hosted Fain at the 2024 State of the Union Address following the UAW’s endorsement of Biden in January.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *