DETROIT — Gary Jones will be the first UAW president to be replaced mid-term since 1970, when Walter Reuther died in a plane crash. Jones resigned last week as the rest of the union's leadership began proceedings to expel him.
Jones quit 17 days after beginning a paid leave of absence amid mounting evidence of corruption by him and a number of other union officials. In addition to numerous examples of lavish spending detailed in various criminal complaints against alleged coconspirators, the UAW last week said Jones arranged a free weeklong stay for his daughter at a union-rented townhome in Palm Springs, Calif.
The UAW's constitution calls for its International Executive Board to meet and select a new president. It was unclear last week how soon that would occur.
Rory Gamble, the vice president who led negotiations with Ford Motor Co. this fall, has been serving as acting president since Jones went on leave.
At an emergency meeting last week, all 12 remaining members of the union's board signed onto a document detailing ways that Jones had breached his ethical and fiduciary duties to the UAW, saying the misdeeds show "he should be removed from office and expelled from membership in the International Union."
The board also began an attempt to remove Region 5 Director Vance Pearson, who has been charged with fraud and embezzlement, but Pearson did not immediately resign.
"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," Jones' lawyer, Bruce Maffeo, said in an emailed statement. "Gary made the decision to retire before learning of the charges filed yesterday and did so in order to allow the union to focus on its core mission to improve the lives of its members and families."
The charges filed against Jones under Article 30 of the UAW Constitution make clear that he is the person the U.S. Justice Department has repeatedly identified as "UAW Official A," because he has not been criminally charged.