Financial Times: Marick Masters on UAW settlement

The United Auto Workers, one of the most powerful unions in the U.S., on Monday agreed to a wide-ranging settlement with the Department of Justice designed to clean up the organization after a multiyear corruption investigation that has led to more than a dozen criminal convictions. The 400,000-strong union would operate under tight restrictions and give members more say over its governance in return for an end to the five-year criminal investigation, it was announced. The consent decree agreed by the UAW will install an independent monitor to oversee the Detroit-based union for six years. It also mandates that the UAW allow union members to vote on whether they want the right to directly elect the union’s highest-ranking officials, replacing the current system of voting for delegates who then choose the top leaders. Marick Masters, a professor at Wayne State University and author of an upcoming book about the UAW scandal, said the settlement went as far as it needed to. “A government takeover, à la the consent decree imposed on the Teamsters more than three decades ago, would have been an over-reach,” he said. “The UAW has taken major steps to remedy its problems, and the onus is now on its membership to hold its leadership accountable.”

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