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November 30, 2021
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Local 652 Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Updated On: Sep 08, 2021

September 2021

On January 29 of this year on the heels of investigations and prosecutions of multiple UAW officials the UAW entered into a consent agreement with the Federal Government.  As part of this consent agreement the UAW acknowledged that “there have been criminal convictions, allegations, sworn testimony, and judicial findings of past problems of fraud, corruption, and criminal conduct by certain officials within the UAW.”  Within this agreement the UAW agreed to oversight by two government appointed officers, the Monitor and the Adjudication Officer who will hold powers and authority over the UAW and its members for six years.
The government and the UAW agreed that duly-elected bargaining committees of the UAW are the best equipped to collectively bargain and enforce agreements. That being the case, the UAW will continue to negotiate and administer collective bargaining agreements free from oversight or approval of the government except as may be necessary to ensure the elimination of fraud, corruption, or illegal conduct.
In other, non-bargaining areas, the Monitor will have extensive powers as to the running of the UAW. The first of these areas will be a secret ballot referendum by all UAW members concerning the method and procedures for the election of the UAW International Executive Board. Among the other powers the Monitor and Adjudication Officer hold are the right to issue subpoenas and to compel testimony pursuant to authority conferred by the Court. And, as to the Adjudication Officer, they are authorized to exercise all of the disciplinary rights and powers of the UAW’s International President, International Executive Board, and the UAW Public Review Board for violations of the UAW Constitution and Ethical Practices Code.
Taken as a whole the International Union and its officials will be subject to a level of scrutiny that they have not been under in the past.  This scrutiny is justified by the actions taken by a number of disgraced officials who have through their actions violated the trust of the membership as well as their duties under the UAW constitution.
What I don’t believe most members understand is exactly who this consent decree binds to its strictures.  The decree is “binding upon the UAW and its constituent entities and all current and future officers, agents, employees, representatives, members, and persons holding positions of trust in the UAW. . . .”  That’s right, rank and file members are bound by the consent decree agreed to by the UAW, not just elected officials.  
This is important to know, especially when it comes to the upcoming referendum on International Executive Board elections and how they will be conducted in the future. Through the consent decree, we are all bound to the election rules set forth by the Monitor.  Every member should read these rules and understand them, they govern advocacy on the referendum in the workplace, on-line, in public, and at Union meetings.  Violation of these rules could subject officials and members to disciplinary action by the Monitor as sanctioned in the consent decree. Please educate yourself on what it is that the UAW has consented to, it effects all of us. Interim rules for this election, as well as the consent agreement, can be found at UAWmonitor.com.
 





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