In an effort to spark a congressional hearing or broad-based federal probe into the United Auto Workers, members of a dissident group, UAW Concern, traveled to D.C. Feb. 20 to talk with Senate staff and drop off materials they say show a pattern of corruption. A half-dozen members of the Kalamazoo-based group met with the staff director of the Senate Commerce Committee, Mark Buse, as well as an aide to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), to urge them to get the Senate to investigate UAW.
“Our priority is to tell the Commerce Committee that we can show the UAW corruption and the collusion between the UAW and the companies. We’ve got 20 people or more who will come and testify about the UAW’s lack of representation,” said Pat Meyer, UAW Concern founder. Previously, Meyer helped members from UAW Local 594 in Pontiac meet with the Dep’t of Labor and FBI investigators in Detroit. That criminal investigation recently proceeded onto the grand jury phase.
Meyer’s group brought up the Detroit probe in its meeting with Buse. He said Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been trying to get UAW and other union bosses to agree to some funding disclosure so members would know how much of their money is used for political activities or other ventures. Unions have resisted, and the AFL-CIO recently opposed McCain’s package. “It’s difficult, extremely difficult to get the unions to agree to some kind of disclosure,” Buse said. “They believe their internal communications are sacrosanct. They won’t agree to it unless we make corporations do it, but corporations aren’t the same type of a group.” [Det. Free Press 2/21/01]
Colorado Office Worker Indicted on 265 Counts
A federal grand jury in Colorado indicted Shelly S. Pfeifer on 265 counts of union embezzlement. She allegedly embezzled more than $16,000. Pfeifer is charged with pocketing union dues from 265 members of Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ Int’l Ass’n Local 577 in Denver. Her arraignment is set for Mar. 21. [Denver Post 3/1/01]