In case you missed this, the UAW is buying outgoing UAW President Dennis Williams, now retired, a “cottage”. The original cost estimate for this up-north getaway was $1.3 million as reported by the Detroit News. Union member dues (recently increased from two hours of work per month to two and one half hours) will pay for this “cozy” 1,885 square foot lodge consisting of granite counters, stainless steel appliances, a woodburning fireplace, wine cooler, patio overlooking the lake, and also oddly “a room hidden behind a bookshelf.” Now here is where things get a bit more hypocritical…because the original costs were coming in a bit high, the UAW is using nonunion labor to build significant components of this structure. The union has hired nonunion electrical, excavation, and plumbing services on this project.
This project comes up as the UAW is trying to get out from under its ongoing Iacobelli-Holifield fraud scandal and FBI investigation where leaders of the FCA side of the UAW house were caught swindling the training fund out of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center to purchase personal luxury items. Dennis Williams is implicated in the scandal, because prosecutors in the case allege he directed subordinates to use funds from automakers and “funneled through training centers to pay for union travel, meals, and entertainment,” according to the Detroit News.
But back to the cottage project. To be fair, the UAW used members of the United Steelworkers as general contractors on this project, but they had to bring it in at budget which resulted in the hiring of less expensive non-union local sub-contractors. The UAW also reports they put the project out to bid with the caveat, “the project requires union laborers.” Two union companies put in a bid, but both were way too high for the UAW’s budget, and therefore, they chose certain non-union labor to work on this project at its Black Lake, Michigan property.
UAW Does Not Hold the Monopoly on Union Hypocrisy
Also in the news recently is The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations AFL-CIO, who has a union representing its workers at its Washington offices. The Office of Professional Employee’s International Union (OPEIU) represents 50 janitors, secretaries, and accountants that work for the AFL-CIO at its offices. In current negotiations, “management” at the AFL-CIO, being tough negotiators, unilaterally implemented a contract that froze wages, took away benefits (including sick days), and also weakened layoff protections from the union.
What is a union to do when bullied by management in such a way? Strike of course. The OPEIU initiated a walkout. Being good union brothers and sisters, another union that works for the AFL-CIO, the Communications Workers of America’s Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild, refused to work in honor of the OPEIU’s strike.
Sources: The Detroit News. UAW spurns union labor to build home for ex-president 11/1/2018. Labor Union Report The UAW Uses Non-Union Labor to Build Ex-UAW Boss “Cottage’ and AFL-CIO Faces a Strike After Taking Benefits From its Workers and Imposing a Contract