UAW President Shawn Fain Gets a Federal Watchdog Warning for Not Following the Rules

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Just when the folks over at United Auto Workers thought they were out of the woods and on their way to adding members to their ranks, good old Uncle Sam, who Joe Biden is in charge of right now, pops up with a bit of a nasty letter.

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Maybe UAW President Shawn Fain should have held off on endorsing Joe Biden for a bit. 

It seems that Fain and some of the UAW leadership have caught the attention of federal watchdogs for not playing nice and cooperating with them.

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain is under investigation by the court-appointed watchdog tasked with eliminating corruption, according to a federal court filing, one of a series of probes targeting top leaders of the scandal-plagued union.

The watchdog, monitor Neil Barofsky, revealed the probe Monday while accusing union leaders of obstructing and interfering with attempts to access information, actions that could serve as an apparent violation of the 2020 consent decree that averted a full-scale takeover of the UAW by the Justice Department.

In a federal court filing, Barofsky described an erosion of cooperation by union leaders in February after he revealed investigations targeting members of the UAW's governing International Executive Board, including Fain, Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock and one of the union's regional directors who is not named in the documents.

This comes at a bit of an odd time for Fain and the UAW leadership and raises some questions about the deal that the UAW struck with the Justice Department back in 2020 after the corruption cases were mostly settled and the union tried to pick up and move on with federal oversight. Leadership would love to put this behind them much sooner than the Teamsters — which had Uncle Sam looking over their shoulder for close to 25 years.

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This is a warning shot from the Feds to pull it together soon.

"With more than three months having passed since the inception of the monitor’s investigation, and only a small fraction of the requested documents produced, the monitor’s assessment is that the union’s delay of relevant documents is obstructing and interfering with his access to information needed for his investigative work, and, if left unaddressed, is an apparent violation of the consent decree," Barofsky wrote.

The investigation does not appear to involve criminal allegations. However, Barofsky has the ability to bring charges seeking to discipline, remove, suspend, expel and fine UAW officers and members.

"At this stage, it is important to emphasize that the allegations are just allegations," Barofsky wrote. "They prove nothing in themselves, and nothing in this report should be construed as reaching any conclusion about possible charges, if any, for suspected misconduct."

As I said above, this is coming at a bit of an odd time for the folks down at Solidarity House.

Late last year, they agreed with the big three on renewed auto contracts, which include provisions to kill jobs for automotive workers as long as they continue to push for electric vehicles.

Fain and the top leadership sold out to Biden way too soon with an endorsement and did not take into account how their workers are faring under almost four years of Biden Inc. and a floundering economy that is costing the whole country to spend more on everything.

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Also, now, with the UAW push to organize college workers and support pro-Hamas demonstrations on those same campuses, maybe they should take a step back and make sure the feds are happy first before taking on anything else. 


UAW President Shawn Fain Makes a Plea for Pro-Hamas
Protesters on College Campuses 


A snippet from the article above.

UAW President Shawn Fain chose to dive into the debate over anti-Israel campus protests this week and how police should respond. Writing on X (formerly Twitter), he said his union opposes “the mass arrest or intimidation of those exercising their right to protest, strike, or speak out against injustice.” That would be a fine statement in a vacuum. In the context of the protests, it’s a defense of mass trespassing and harassment of Jewish students at Columbia, UCLA and elsewhere.

Mr. Fain foreclosed any doubt about where his sympathies lie. “This war is wrong,” he said of Israel’s campaign to root Hamas out of Gaza. He said the UAW “has been calling for a ceasefire for six months,” meaning the union wished to halt Israel’s war of self-defense not long after Hamas mutilated women and killed 1,200 Israelis in a surprise assault.

Those views may come as a surprise to Volkswagen workers in Tennessee, who chose to unionize last month, or Mercedes workers in Alabama, who will decide whether to join the UAW by May 17. The union is eager to organize workers at fast-growing southern plants, and it’s promising higher wages. But its pitch is conspicuously light on solidarity with Hamas and Ivy League delinquents, though worker dues will support Mr. Fain’s ideological causes.

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As I said above, the filing from Barofsky is a friendly warning shot to let the leaders in the UAW know to play ball and stop playing hide and seek with whatever they request. Otherwise, they might find a Trump attorney general less friendly than the current one under Biden.

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