It was instantly obvious that one of the alleged schemers, a man identified only as “UAW Official A” because he hadn’t yet been charged with any crimes, was Jones. Less than 60 hours later, Jones ordered more than 46,000 GM workers to walk off the job and subsist on a measly $275 a week — less than the cost of the bottles of champagne that Jones and other officials are accused of popping open on the membership’s dime.
The day before the strike started, the UAW’s International Executive Board held an emergency meeting to discuss the matter. But an effort by some board members to oust Jones failed.
Now, with Jones expected to plead guilty, the next question is whether the U.S. Justice Department will attempt to take over the union.
That board meeting where UAW leaders emboldened Jones by declining to take action against him could end up being the moment that a federal takeover became inevitable.
By deciding to let Jones stay in charge even after his wrongdoing had become apparent — to fight back against the allegations and let him oversee the longest strike against an automaker in half a century, before reversing course two months later and pressuring Jones to resign long after the walkout had been settled — the UAW may have helped convince the feds that it should no longer be trusted to make its own decisions.