DETROIT – The United Auto Workers ratcheted up tough new financial controls on the heels of a declaration last month by interim President Rory Gamble to put an end to internal corruption.
The UAW workers executive board will be busy this week. When it gets together Wednesday, it will vote on a permanent new president, decide whether to move the new UAW-FCA national contract to the rank and file and then approve more financial changes.
Those new controls are an attempt to keep federal officials at bay.
“We’ve got to get the ship back on track,” Gamble said.
He rolled out a second wave of tough financial controls on Monday. First, he’s increasing auditor staffing, all with extra education.
UAW officials hired the well-known Deloitte auditing firm to perform internal comprehensive controls audits on the entire union.
The UAW will also hire a new national external auditing firm to not only look back, but also to handle future national reporting, expand internal training in the treasurer’s office, increase centralization of all accounting to better handle the information coming from audits and institute strict bonding certificate enforcement -- a long-winded way to say they want to claw back union money taken by convicted leaders.
“Dues money is sacred, and we all take an oath to protect that,” Gamble said.
Wayne State University business professor Marick Masters said he isn’t impressed.
“I think it’s an important step in the right direction, but to be quite blunt about it, I think it is too little too late,” Masters said.
He believes the rank and file are left to wonder why this didn’t happen sooner.
“I think there is a good likelihood the feds will want to step in, and I mean, this is a major admission of widespread culpability if they’re willing to subject themselves to this kind of scrutiny,” Masters said.
U.S. attorney Matthew Schneider did a media interview and said that is a distinct possibility, considering he doesn’t believe the union has been fully cooperative.
The union put out a statement Monday saying these new controls should show the union is willing to cooperate and will do so in the future.