Recent reports say that Federal agents made a major move against corruption in America by raiding the homes of some prominent union leaders.
The feds executed a series of raids across multiple U.S. states one target was the Detroit home of United Auto Workers President Gary Jones.
Federal agents also raided the California home of former President Dennis Williams. It appears that Attorney General Bill Barr is cleaning house.
The Detroit News reported that the daylight raids intensified a 4-year investigation that has exposed self-dealing among lower-level UAW officials and a conspiracy involving Fiat Chrysler executives to wring concessions from the union by lavishing labor leaders with cash, trips, steak dinners and $1,000 pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes.
Labor and business experts claimed that the searches also coincided with contract negotiations between the UAW and Detroit automakers, negotiations that could be severely impacted.
“This weakens the union’s position at the negotiating table,” Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor stated. “The team could be in handcuffs in a week.”
The Feds fanned out to execute search warrants at multiple locations, including Jones’ home in Canton Township and at the UAW Black Lake Conference Center, a retreat of around 1,000-acre in northern Michigan financed with interest from the union’s $721 million strike fund, which is bankrolled by worker dues.
Mara Schneider, public affairs officer for the FBI’s Detroit branch, stated that there are several search warrants being executed across the country this Wednesday, including two in Michigan. She said that she couldn’t give a total number of warrants being executed by the FBI, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.
“It is rare if not unprecedented to raid a UAW former or current president’s house,” said professor at the University of California-Berkeley who specializes in labor and the global economy, Harley Shaiken. “The timing is particularly disturbing.”
The UAW is in the middle of negotiating its next set of 4-year contracts with the Detroit Three. The current contracts expire on Sept. 14. Shaiken said while Jones has adamantly condemned bribery that federal investigators say tainted the 2015 negotiations between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, Wednesday’s raids could affect the current contract negotiations.