SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – There’s dramatic change in the air Friday for the United Automobile Workers, as just two days after announcing massive new financial controls on the union and its activity, board members have made a move to rid the union of some former leaders.
The UAW Board of Directors approved President Gary Jones’ leave of absence earlier this month. Now, Local 4 has learned, some board members are looking to make it a permanent leave for Jones and his indicted right-hand man, Vance Pearson, from the union.
Looking at the UAW constitution, the board members intend to use what’s referred to as Article 30.
Metro Detroit residents won’t soon forget the images of federal agents going in and out of Jones’ home in Canton Township, pulling out evidence and counting cash on the garage floor.
At the same time, agents from the FBI and IRS were going through Pearson’s home and office.
A week later, federal officials indicted Pearson on embezzlement charges. Soon after, the union put him on leave.
When their homes were raided, Jones and Pearson both sat on the UAW executive board. Now, the executive board is moving on them to try to kick them out of the union.
The rarely used mechanism requires five board members to agree to sign a charging document and send it to the UAW secretary treasurer. He or she then passes the charges to the accused.
Within 10 days, a special international executive board meeting is called to set up a trial committee made up of UAW convention delegates not on the executive committee.
Nominated names are drawn from a box. Fifty names are drawn and presented to attorneys for the union and the accused. They have the option to eliminate 10 names.
Once the list is down to 12 delegates, they are notified to attend a trial within five days. A two-thirds vote is required to determine guilt.