UAW President Shawn Fain Facing Investigation Over Alleged Abuse of Authority

By Trisha Andrada

Jun 11, 2024 05:40 AM EDT

Shawn Fain
Shawn Fain, International President of the United Auto Workers, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on unions on November 14, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo : Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Shawn Fain, the president of United Auto Workers (UAW), is facing investigations by a federal watchdog hired to oversee the union and root out corruption, according to a court document filed on Monday, June 10.

Federal Monitor Probes Union President's Suspected Power Abuse

Neil Barofsky has been appointed as the "monitor" to look into allegations of possible abuse of authority by Fain as the union president, as reported by CNBC. Further, he claims that Fain and other union officials were trying to thwart the probe by blocking his access to documents.

The UAW and the United States Department of Justice reached a consent decree in 2020 to prevent a government takeover of the union. Those allegations against Fain may go against that agreement.

As stated in the court filing, the union has effectively slow-rolled Barofsky's access to requested documents despite his months-long efforts to get them for a thorough inquiry.

An updated document states that the monitor has broadened the probe's scope to include new retaliation claims by Fain against a union vice president.

Meanwhile, the monitor launched a separate inquiry against a regional director who is a member of the UAW International Executive Board (IEB) and remains anonymous upon the receipt of claims of potential embezzlement.

READ NEXT: UAW Challenges Mercedes-Benz Unionization Vote at Alabama Plant, Accuses Company of Intimidation

Accusations Arise After Secretary-Treasurer Removed From Handling Various Departments 

As first reported by The Detroit News, the court document states that Barofsky's suspicions started in February when the monitor started looking into current IEB members, including the president, secretary-treasurer, and one of the union's regional directors.

Due to accusations that Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock had committed misconduct while performing her duties as financial superior, union officials removed all of her constitutionally mandated obligations, which led to the launch of the investigation.

While Fain did not directly address the concerns raised in the filing, he did say that changing the UAW's course can be controversial and upset those who prefer the status quo. However, he emphasized that the union's members deserve better than the status quo.

Additionally, he is certain that the monitor will not uncover any wrongdoing on his part as union president.

READ MORE: Alabama Mercedes-Benz Workers Vote 'No' to Unionization, a Tough Loss for the UAW

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