The onus cannot be placed on anyone individual for the situation at hand. The change in the A.C. has taken place slowly and has grown worse over time. Like a cancer, silently and growing slowly with very little notice of discomfort or pain the financial cancer of the International Executive Board took place over time. However, eventually the cancer does enough damage it becomes uncomfortable a diagnosis has to be made and an appropriate treatment implemented to save the patient.
Institutional corruption is a problem in organized labor, for example, the Teamsters Union and the corruption they experienced with their pension funds is a pristine example of institutional corruption. Members of congress understood how institutional corruption works and in1947 Section 302 of the Taft Hartley Act, better known as the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) was enacted. A statement made by Senator Ball best describes the purpose of that act. Members of congress have repeatedly used his statement since 1947. Senator Ball Stated, “Asserting that the purpose of Section 302 is to ensure integrity of Union welfare funds as trust funds for employees and ensure that payments by employers to union funds do not degenerate into bribes.” The underlined wording of Senator Ball’s statement does refer to institutional corruption as well as individual. Furthermore, Sections 302 has been written almost verbatim in the LMRDA the NLRA, ERISA and RICCO the section numbers are different but the language has primarily remained same. Degenerate would be and act or event deviating and changing for the worse from it initial purpose over a stretch of time.
In 1978, Congress enacted the Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1979. The law did not go into effect until late 1981, it is this statute Chief Finance Officer Thomas P. Hill of the UAW-GM “CHR” claims the organization is operating under. The LMCA created a loophole allowing unions to go into joint programs in accordance to seven conditions. It was this act that opened the legal doors for joint funds programs even though there were attempts made prior to 1982 to incorporate some form of joint program into UAW agreements.
Really, the automakers do transfer millions of dollars into the UAW International Union through the national joint programs centers and the money goes straight to the union’s operation fund through monthly charge backs. The UAW now collects a service charge on Joint Funds Reimbursements or (JFRs). Over the past two decades, JFRs grew as union membership diminished. Nobody knows when the union agreed to the JFRs. We do known, however, that in 1990 there were only 50 or so people whose full compensation was reimbursed who were assigned to the UAW-GM Human Resource Center.
According to 1992 tax forms, the UAW International Union received in reimbursements 7.8 million dollars just from the UAW-GM HRC. However, we also know that at present date over 100 UAW member’s full time compensation now comes from the CHR alone. A conservative estimate for JFRs from the CHR is some where around 12 to 15 million dollars annually. When you combine the latter to the JFRs from Ford and DaimlerChrysler members can start to imagine how much money is coming from the Automakers to the UAW via the national training centers.
However, what is important was the slow unintentional growth of the IEB’s dependence on joint funds that has consumed them over the years. Though the funds from the employers did and do go to the operating funds of the UAW, those funds apparently degenerated into bribes because without the JFRs the UAW would implode financially because of the loss of dues from the attrition of UAW members.
I believe there were those who colluded with the automakers in the writing of the script above. However, there are those who played an innocent or indirect part in what has and is happening to our International Union today. I believe there is no possible way anyone can truly say the UAW has been duped. Except, maybe the shop floor members because they had no understanding of how joint programs operated because, they were kept in the dark. They voted to except Jointness based on the lies of their leaders. So yes, the average worker in the auto companies were duped but not so much by management but by their own union officials
I would be the first to say we cannot reform the UAW entirely. However, we can change one thing at a time. The first step we can take is demand the end of various corrupting influences such as Joint Funds Reimbursements or charge backs. That would restore our union from a capital driven corporation back to a membership driven UNION!
To do that, UAW members such as you need to run for delegate and/or vote for delegates who will demand a change of leadership and work to eliminate joint reimbursements and programs all together. We need people in each region to run for regional directorships on a platform to end all JFRs. We need to talk to our delegates and demand from them a resolution written and collectively signed by them and all members of each local to stop all JFRs and keep them from ever happening again.
Secondly, we must work to change the election process that will take place in Vegas in 2006 and see to it that every person who runs for IEB positions during the Constitutional Convention are challenged by true opposition candidates, which includes Gettelfinger, and I don’t mean corporate replace them with cooperation clones like Cal Rapson and Bob King!
Remember, there is nothing in our Constitution that covers joint programs and at this moment there is no oversight of those joint programs or their finances by either the NLRB or the DOL. NONE! I have repeatedly requested audits from Shoemaker and Gettelfinger and they remain steadfast in their refusal to provide me with the audits. WHY? What do they have to hide?
Consequently, I need your help! I need you to attend your next local union meeting and ask your local president to pass out copies of my Ethical Practice Codes request I made to Gettelfinger. I mailed copies of the request to almost ever GM and Delphi Local during the last quarter of 2005. If you need a copy, feel free to contact me I will send you one. Afterwards make a motion to support my E.P.C. request through membership action and send a copy to Gettelfinger.