Did Scandal Tip the Balance?
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/09/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21631
In 2014 a rumor circulated in UAW plants even beyond the Detroit area that UAW Vice President General Holiefield had been "on the take." He suddenly resigned, his administrative assistant was let go and within months Holiefield died from cancer. Then silence.
What impact did this scandal have on tipping the vote at Nissan? Nissan immediately broadcast the news. In his post-election analysis, President Williams surmises it made quite a difference.
UAW officials began looking into various payouts as early as 2013 but kept the investigation under wraps. President Williams stated that "the UAW has zero tolerance for corruption or wrongdoing" and is cooperating with the Department of Justice. Yet the failure to inform UAW workers - especially at Chrysler - until the indictments became public is deeply disturbing. Accountability and transparency are nowhere in sight.
Williams' statement reaffirmed that the UAW "delivers" for its members. He cites employer-paid health care, cost-of-living adjustments and profit sharing as innovative programs the UAW first negotiated. However, health care has become two tiered, COLA has disappeared and profit sharing can't possibly make up for wage increases and COLA. Most autoworkers realize that the bigger the signing bonus and profit sharing checks, the more the corporation has taken from our wallets in lost wages.