Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on former UAW president's guilty plea
Gary Jones was entrusted to lead the UAW, the same union once led by labor icon Walter Reuther, but on Wednesday, Jones admitted his role in a corruption scheme that tarnished the union's clean image. Jones will now need to cooperate with prosecutors as the case proceeds if he hopes to secure a shorter prison sentence. Marick Masters, a Wayne State University business professor who specializes in labor issues, said Jones' guilty plea represents a dramatic step in the scandal clouding the UAW. It also represents a key moment for the union and its future. "The UAW stands at a crossroads now in terms of how far it is going to move in the direction of reform. While it is tempting at times to think a government takeover is the only solution, this approach is not without its problems and it can be costly. The UAW's situation is quite different from the one facing the Teamsters when the government took control of it in the late 1980s. I hope that the UAW and the U.S. Attorney's Office can find a path that is in the best interests of the rank and file, which includes having a strong union to represent it," Masters said.