CNBC: Frank Goeddeke on UAW elections overhaul


A federal corruption probe into the United Auto Workers has led to an overhaul of the union’s elections, potentially bringing an end to a more than 70-year leadership dynasty under which recent leaders accepted bribes and embezzled millions in members’ dues and fees. UAW members and retirees voted to change the union’s process of electing leaders from a weight, delegate-based system to a direct, or “one member, one vote,” election, according to preliminary results published be a court-appointed UAW monitor. Both the monitor and vote, which still needs to be certified, were results of a settlement between the U.S. Justice Department and union to end a corruption investigation that sent 15 people to prison, including two recent UAW presidents and three Fiat Chrysler executives. Officials say it’s unclear how the new voting system will impact companies with workers represented by the UAW, specifically the Detroit automakers. The impact of the new election system on UAW members as well as companies depends on how the new process is implemented, according to Frank Goeddeke, a senior lecturer in management at Wayne State University. “The devil is always in the details, so that can affect how this is going to play out,” he said. “I do think that with the one member, one vote, that the officers will be more cognizant of how the membership is going to feel about certain things that they do.”

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