Ten days before the expiration of the contract, UAW GM's best bargaining assistant pleads guilty to making $ 2 million in kickbacks
September 5, 2019
Less than ten days before the expiration of contracts covering 155,000 auto dealers of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler in the US, another top executive at United Auto Workers pleaded guilty to corruption.
Michael Grimes, former aide to current and former UAW Vice Presidents, entered a federal court in Ann Arbor, Michigan on charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors say he took more than $ 1.5 million in bribes and waivers over the 12 years he was on the UAW-GM Human Resources Center.
The charges carry up to 20 years in prison, but federal prosecutors recommend 46 to 57 months, with a sentencing set for Jan. 1
The Grimes apology agreement contributes to the extraordinary circumstances of early termination of contracts at the big three car companies. He is the ninth UAW CEO to plead guilty to the corruption investigation so far. Last week, the FBI raids were directed at the homes of current UAW President Gary Jones and his predecessors, Dennis Williams.
The UAW has been exposed as a corrupt management corporation managed by a criminal syndicate that has agreed with companies to impose concession contracts. Still, this organization seems to be "negotiating" with car companies on behalf of workers.
At the same time, car dealers have registered their determination to combat companies' demands for further attacks on jobs and wages through almost unanimity. the strike strikes over the last two weeks in all three companies.
The case for the establishment of independent wrestling organizations, factory committees, could not be clearer. Workers must respond to UAW's corporate conversion by organizing independently, holding meetings at each plant and workplace to formulate their own requirements and prepare for a nationwide strike when the contracts expire at midnight on September 14.
In no sense can the UAW be described as a "workers' organization" in the interests of its members. It is run by upper-class executives who use their position to steal money from fees and to profit from the increased exploitation of workers they claim to represent.
guilty plea Grimes has admitted that it has conspired with two unnamed UAW employees to use its UAW and CHR positions "to enrich through fraudulent solicitation, impact and receipt of UAW and CHR contracts" for outsourced contractors replacement.
According to sources close to the investigation, cited by the Detroit News the two unnamed UAW officers are Joe Ashton, who chaired the UAW-GM department and the bargaining committee in 2011 and also sat in GM Corporate Council and its senior lieutenant Jeff Peterzhik, who was also a member of the UAW-GM Contracting Committee in 2011.
In 2011, the UAW agreed to extend the long-standing freeze on salaries and retirement benefits and to dramatically increase the number of low-paid second-tier workers.
The conspiracy continued from 2006 to 2018, the government said. During that time, Grimes also served on UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who led the negotiations for GM in 2015, along with former UAW President Dennis Williams.
The biggest fear of Trump corporations and administrations is that the wrath of car workers will erupt regardless of the UAW.
GM CEO Mary Barra meets with President Trump of the White House today, where they are expected to discuss the upcoming clash with auto workers. As part of economic nationalist agitation, the president criticized GM for shutting down four US plants while continuing production in Mexico and China.
UAW announced Tuesday that GM will be the leading agreement company to define the Ford and Fiat Chrysler models. The UAW, GM, and the Trump administration are pushing for workers to accept even deeper discounts, including snatching medical benefits and expanding temporary and contract workers.
The Trump administration is considering more repressive measures to prevent another uprising by auto workers, as happened in 2015, which would be the catalyst for a far-reaching movement of the working class against economy and social inequality.
Reflecting discussions in the ruling class, the Wall Street Journal wrote Wednesday, "Extending the federal investigation to the brass of the UAW also raises the possibility for prosecutors to try to put the union under federal control. Going against a racketeering case in 1989, the International Brotherhood of Teams signed a consent decree that included monitoring its internal affairs. "
Such a takeover by the Justice Department and Trump's Labor Department may include measures to deprive workers of the right to strike and
As part of their trade war against China, Trump announced in May that protecting the automobile US industry is vital to national security. The administration can use this as a pseudo-legal justification to end the strike if car workers go out to protect their jobs and standard of living.
Any such move would put car dealers at odds not only with car companies and the UAW, but also with the state apparatus. They have been driven by political confrontation with the Trump administration, Democrats, the courts and the entire corporate-controlled political system that has spent the last four decades waging a class war against workers.
This makes it even more urgent to set up independent committees to organize opposition and prepare strike actions.
This must be combined with appeals to auto workers in Mexico, Canada and other countries and to all sections of workers – teachers, Amazon, telecommunications and more. and health workers – to launch a powerful industrial and political counterattack against the capitalist system and the corporate and financial elite, which is enriched at the expense of the broad masses of the working class.
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