SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Gary Jones has resigned as president of the United Automobile Workers shortly after the UAW International Executive Board voted to begin Article 30 proceedings against him and his indicted right-hand man, Vance Pearson.
By filing charges under Article 30, board members sought to remove Jones and Pearson from their elected positions within the union and to expel them from membership in the UAW.
The Article 30 charges assert that Jones and Pearson directed the submission of false, misleading and inaccurate expense records to the UAW Accounting Department and further concealed the true information concerning those expenses.
“This is a somber day, but our UAW constitution has provided the necessary tools to deal with these charges,” acting UAW President Rory Gamble said. “We are committed at the UAW to take all necessary steps including continuing to implement ethics reforms and greater financial controls to prevent these type of charges from ever happening again.”
The United Automobile Workers revealed Friday -- just two days after announcing massive new financial controls on the union and its activity -- that board members would make a move to rid the union of some former leaders.
The Board of Directors approved Jones’ leave of absence earlier this month. His resignation came about an hour after board members began the process to make it a permanent leave for the pair.
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.
At the time their homes were raided, Jones and Pearson both sat on the UAW executive board. That same board voted Wednesday to start the Article 30 process against them.
Here is a statement from J. Bruce Maffeo, Jones’ attorney:
“Earlier today Gary Jones informed the UAW that effective immediately he has resigned his position as union president and retired from the union. Gary has been a member of the UAW for 44 years and began as a factory worker and worked his way up to president of the union where he led the union in its recent strike against GM. Gary made the decision to retire before learning of the charges filed earlier today and did so in order to allow the union to focus on its core mission to improve the lives of its members and families. Gary appreciates the support provided to him by his family and friends and offered the following quote: “While I don’t know what my lord and Savior Jesus Christ has in store for me, I will look to him for guidance and support in the days and months to come.”
Here’s how Article 30 works, according to the UAW constitution:
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.