Sometimes the unfinished business of a strike can take years to resolve. In the case of Donny Douglas and Jay Campbell, it was close to 15 years. Douglas and Campbell, each a former officer with United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 594 in Pontiac, Mich., were sentenced in Detroit federal court on December 19 for conspiracy to commit extortion and violate the Taft-Hartley Act. The pair had used their bargaining leverage to extend a strike in 1997 against General Motors by telling GM negotiators if they didn't hire Campbell's son and the son of another UAW official for high-paying jobs, the strike would continue. Douglas received 18 months in prison, while Campbell received 12 months and a day in prison.
Nearly a decade ago, in the spring of 1997, General Motors assembly plant workers in Pontiac, Michigan walked off the job in what became a nearly three-month-long strike.It could have been longer had the automaker not accepted an offer they couldn’t refuse from a United Auto Workers local.A half year ago, two surviving instigators of the scheme had a date with justice in a federal courtroom.On June 27, 2006 a jury returned a guilty verdict against Donny Douglas and Jay Campbell, respectively, a former UAW servicing representative and a former shop committee chairman for Local 594, for conspiracy to violate the Taft-Hartley Act and Hobbs Act anti-extortion statutes.The pair had been indicted nearly four years earlier for using their positions to demand the hiring of unqualified persons, in violation of a contract with GM.A third man, William J. Coffey, now deceased, also had been indicted, though charges against him were posthumously dismissed.
Three federal judges unanimously reinstated criminal charges Feb. 8 against two Pontiac officials of the United Auto Workers accused of prolonging an 87-day strike at a General Motors Corp. truck plant to force the hiring of a relative and a friend.The decision by a three-judge panel at the 6th U.S. Circ. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reversed an October 2003 ruling by U.S. Dist. Judge Nancy Edmunds, who had tossed out the charges against the officials -- intl. servicing representative Donny Douglas and retired Local 594 Chairman Jay Campbell.