DETROIT — The UAW will avoid a government takeover under a deal struck with the U.S. Justice Department that will put the union under the oversight of an independent monitor for six years and allow members to change the way leaders are elected.
The union will pay $1.5 million to resolve tax issues related to the scandal and already has contributed $15 million toward worker training to make up for money stolen by corrupt former leaders. However, prosecutors will not levy additional fines or file racketeering charges against the union.
“The UAW does not have a problem with organized crime,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said at a news conference Monday.
The deal could allow UAW members to directly elect the president and vice presidents for the first time in the union’s history. A secret-ballot referendum will determine whether to end the longtime practice of having the union’s administrative caucus choose a new slate of leaders every four years.
"The men and women of the union, they get to decide, and rightly so,” UAW President Rory Gamble said.
Schneider praised Gamble for showing “poise and leadership” in working to root out corruption and bring “genuine reform to the union.” He said Gamble, contrary to some media reports, was not a target of the federal investigation.