DETROIT — UAW leaders have agreed to close at least one of the training centers that the union formed with the Detroit 3 in the 1980s. It likely signals the end, or at least a major overhaul, of the other two jointly run centers as well, after funds intended to help workers instead ended up in the pockets of some officials at the union and the automakers.
General Motors' tentative agreement with the UAW calls for making arrangements by Nov. 30 to sell the palatial UAW-GM Center for Human Resources in Detroit. The 420,000-square-foot complex that sits along the Detroit River would no longer be involved in "any activities, training, other endeavors and any other functions of any kind," according to the proposed contract, which members must ratify.
Some joint training activities would continue, but GM would provide and control the funding.
An independent audit of the center's assets, spending and activities would be conducted. The nonprofit entity behind the center would be dissolved.
The sale of the building would be a boon for GM and the UAW, given its size and prime location.
GM will designate another property for joint training, the contract said. Leftover training center funds and profit from the building sale would be placed in two new trust funds to be used for joint activities.
Eliminating a source of potential abuse could also help to rebuild members' trust in union leadership.