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Is UAW headed for federal takeover? Feds say it's 'on the table'

Tresa Baldas and Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

DETROIT -- The embattled UAW is in for more indictments and more scandal, sources say, as scores of tips about corrupt labor leaders continue to pour in -- all of which could end in a federal takeover of the nation's sixth largest labor union.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said Thursday that once the criminal case is over -- and it's far from over -- there's a possibility that the federal government will step in and oversee the UAW.

"What we need to do is get the criminal cases further," Schneider said, adding "we'll be in a better position" to consider a takeover "after that is done."

"All options are on the table. And (a takeover) is one of the options," Schneider said.

As for what a federal takeover would look like, Schneider has said that it could include everything from a consent decree to changes in how leaders are elected to make the process more democratic.

"This isn't a situation where the Justice Department would just impose its demands on the union. ... . This has to be an amicable discussion if and when we're going to get there," Schneider said in December. "Again, this is down the road. These things have to be discussed, talked about and, you know, have good negotiations."

 

More: UAW Region 5 leader expected to plead guilty in corruption probe

More: Rory Gamble picked as UAW president, will serve until 2022

For now, Schneider said, the federal government is focused on the criminal investigation, which has led to charges against 13 ex-UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officials, triggered resignations and planted a black eye on UAW leadership as three presidents in a row have come under scrutiny, the latest being President Rory Gamble.

According to sources familiar with the probe, Gamble is not a target of the corruption investigation. The Free Press is not identifying the sources because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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