MI Workers Accuse Local Bosses of Falsification, Misspending of Dues

Four members of United Auto Wrkrs. (UAW) Local 869 filed unfair labor practice charges against the hierarchy on Oct. 31. The Natl. Labor Relations Bd. (NLRB) is now investigating the allegations of kickbacks, pay for unperformed work and nepotism.

The four employees charge that local officials punch in for their shifts, then immediately leave and return later through entrances without time clocks. Particularly, the workers charge, Local 869 committeeman David Joiner took payment for time worked on Sundays at the Daimler/Chrysler stamping plant in Warren that he actually spent at membership meetings and picnics. One time sheet shows Joiner on the job for 12 hrs. on Sunday, Aug. 25, the same day as a 2 1/2 hr. membership meeting. Joiner claims that he went to the meeting on his lunch hr., and that he left early.

The workers also charge that union officials took gifts and favors, such as parking privileges, from Daimler/Chrysler and parts suppliers, and that a contract to paint the union hall was awarded to the brother of Local 869 pres. Pat Peralta without bids or the members’ approval.

Although it is not included in the NLRB charges, the four workers are also pushing for an investigation of the union’s finances. An examination of Local 869’s LM-2 financial forms filed with the U.S. Dept. of Labor shows that the union’s cash balance fell from $ 250,000 at the beginning of 2000 to $84,791 at the end of 2001.

A more recent financial report  showed cash assets of the Local at the end of Aug. to be only $37,600. Local 869’s new fin. secy., David Edgar, claimed that that had been no wrongdoing. The treasury depletion, he said, was due in part to the costs of sending delegates to the UAW’s Las Vegas convention in June, local elections and picnics. [Detroit News 11/3/02]

Ex-UAW Chief Downplays Misspending of Members’ Money
“Some local unions go wild on spending money just like other institutions…It’s not corruption, it’s extravagance.”

Ex-UAW President Douglas Fraser, commenting on 85% drop in MI Local 869’s cash balance, defended by local officials as attributable to cost of sending local delegates to Las Vegas convention and picnics. [Detroit News 11/3/02]