GM Workers Need Help

Posted by Olivia Grady on Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 3:18 pm - Permalink

Yesterday, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Walberg (R-MI) sent a letter to Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and HELP Subcommittee Chairwoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL). The letter requested a public hearing by the Committee on the United Auto Workers (UAW) corruption scandal.

As the Center for Union Facts’ website, UAW Under Investigation, reports, the federal investigation into this corruption scandal has led to nine guilty pleas so far. Further, the homes of the UAW’s current President Gary Jones and former President Dennis Williams have been searched. As a result, the union has spent over $1.5 million in workers’ dues to defend itself in this investigation.

Even when the UAW is not using workers’ dues to defend itself in corruption investigations, the Center for Union Facts reports that workers’ dues are spent on “lavish lifestyles” for UAW leadership. For example, about $60 million of workers’ dues was spent on entertainment, expensive hotels and resorts, travel, and upscale restaurants from 2013-2018. The UAW even built a 1,885-square-foot cabin for Dennis Williams with the interest from the UAW’s $721 million strike fund, although they used non-union labor to save money. 

Unfortunately for the workers who have paid for UAW representation though, dozens of car plants under UAW representation have closed down.

Now, under the cloud of a federal corruption investigation, the UAW has called a strike against General Motors (GM). Under the contract accepted by the UAW, the roughly 50,000 GM workers who are striking are only receiving $250 per week, instead of their regular salary. In addition, hourly workers receive their healthcare benefits from the union during the strike.

Before the strike began though, GM offered a contract to the UAW. Under the contract, GM workers would have received pay increases and an $8,000 signing bonus. In addition, the car manufacturer would have invested $7 billion and created 5,400 new jobs.

The UAW, however, rejected the contract.

Vice President Mike Pence responded to the strike at a Heritage Foundation event on Tuesday that the UAW and GM should work together to convince Congress to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which the United States International Trade Commission estimates would increase U.S. real GDP by $68.2 billion and U.S. employment by 176,000 jobs. 

Because it will help American workers, Congress should pass the USMCA and hold hearings on the UAW corruption scandal.