DETROIT - The UAW is enacting a slew of ethics reform in response to an FBI probe into alleged corruption at the union.
In one of the first decisions made by acting President Rory Gamble since taking the helm after the former president took a leave of absence, the announcement comes amid contract negotiations between the automakers and union members.
"When the United Auto Workers union was created more than 84 years ago, it was built on the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; that together we are stronger than any one person alone. And that is still true today," wrote Gamble in a news release. "As the acting president, I'm committed to putting in place the right mechanisms to safeguard our union, regaining the trust of our members, and ensuring the misconduct that has recently come to light will never happen again."
"That is why I am ordering immediate actions that will lay the foundation for a more transparent, more accountable, and more responsible future for our union," he added.
Among those reforms are eight listed changes. The UAW intends to establish an Ethics Ombudsman to review complaints and the creation of an external position that will hold the power to investigate complaints referred to by the ombudsman. There will be a new policy to help enhance enforcement against those guilty of misusing funds and stricter monetary controls within the union's accounting department as well. There will also be an ethics hotline established to encourage any with concerns to report their complaints.
"This is just the beginning," wrote Gamble. "But it's a beginning that will set us on the right path for the future. As a member of this union for nearly 40 years, I am committed to the mission of this union in bringing prosperity and dignity to millions of American workers and creating and maintaining this country's middle class. I am committed to seeing our union succeed and thrive. And to do that we must and will take real, concrete action that leads to substantive and lasting change."
The UAW is also banning all charitable contributions from UAW joint programs and planning to control any expenditures from those groups.
Finally, the UAW is planning to put Cabin Four and all related property at the UAW's Walter and May Reuther Education Center up for sale.