UAW President Shawn Fain Under Investigation for Alleged Retaliation Against Other Union Leaders - Autoblog - Latest Global News

UAW President Shawn Fain Under Investigation for Alleged Retaliation Against Other Union Leaders – Autoblog

DETROIT — United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain is being investigated by an independent federal agency over allegations of retaliation against other union leaders, according to a court filing Monday.

In February, Coroner Neil Barofsky opened an investigation to look into allegations, including that UAW Treasurer Margaret Mock said she faced retaliation for not approving or reluctantly approving certain expenses for Fain’s office, the filing said. Barofsky also opened an investigation into Mock’s actions.

Fain said in a statement that he encouraged the union leader to “investigate any allegations brought to his office because we know what they will find there: a UAW leadership that is committed to serving its members and running a democratic union.”

Fain added: “If we want to take our union in a new direction, sometimes we have to cause disruption, and that angers some people who want to maintain the status quo.”

Barofsky was appointed federal overseer in 2021 as the UAW was grappling with a corruption scandal that led to the conviction of several former UAW leaders in federal court. Two former UAW leaders were sentenced to prison as part of the investigation.

The Observer also expanded its investigation to include allegations Fain made against the head of the union’s Stellantis division, Rich Boyer, who took over Boyer’s duties in late May.

Union representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on behalf of Boyer and Mock.

Fain claimed Boyer’s duties were reassigned due to his “dereliction of duty” related to collective bargaining issues.

The supervisor later received complaints that Fain’s decision was an act of retaliation because Boyer refused to engage in financial misconduct to benefit others, court records say.

The observer said the union did not provide the documents it requested quickly enough. UAW officials turned over about 2,600 of the potentially relevant documents from a collection of about 116,000 documents, according to the filing.

The Justice Department also told the union leader that the union’s stance made it “difficult, if not impossible, for him to fulfill his mandate to eliminate fraud, corruption and illegality within the UAW,” the document said.

Fain took office last year after narrowly winning the first direct election in the union’s history. He led the union through a six-week strike against Detroit automakers last fall and is spearheading a nationwide campaign to organize unions in the South and West.

That campaign suffered a setback last month when the union lost a vote at a Mercedes plant in Alabama, weeks after winning a historic victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

Fain has emerged as an important figure for President Joe Biden this election year as the U.S. president seeks to win over auto workers and voters in Michigan, a key swing state.

Biden joined Fain at a picket in Michigan in September to support striking autoworkers. Fain also attended the 2024 State of the Union address after the UAW endorsed Biden in January.

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