The leader of United Auto Workers union received a federal complaint after it was discovered there were some discrepancies in the in the union funds. It was reported that the union funds were used for lavish spending and that this practice was repeated multiple time and encouraged by the union leadership.
In September a federal complaint was filed against Gary Jones, the former president of the United Auto Workers union. Allegedly, the union had spent a staggering $13,000 of the union’s funds in one day at a cigar store in 2015.
The bill issued to the union for the cigar expenses included an order for 24 boxes of premium cigars: 12 boxes of Ashton Double Magnum and 12 boxes of Ashton Monarch Tubos. The Magnums cost $268/box and the Tubos cost $274/box.
Vance Pearson, the current union leader, received the suit. It was revealed from others that Gary Jones and his colleague Dennis Williams were also named in the complaint. The details of the lavish spending revealed that in 4 years union officials spent $1 million on Union Outings. These outings included month-long rentals of villas in Palm Spring, California, four figure dinners, golf outings, and $60,000 on cigar paraphernalia and cigars.
It was also reported that the union leaders had encouraged the use of Fiat Chrysler Auto funds, designated for training, to be used for outings. Allegedly, Jones and Williams had set up a master account that was used to bill hotel rooms for conferences and other expenses that happened before and after said conferences. In addition, friends of Williams, who had no reason to attend, would be on the outings paid for by the union.
Jones has been accused of misusing the unions funds to procure favors and obtain high positions within the organization. Jones has also served as an accountant for the union, and was submitting receipts for expenses which were already reimbursed in 2010. Furthermore, after becoming regional director, Jones started his lavish spending habits at the Palm Springs to assist with his career advancement. Williams and Jones do not face criminal prosecution, but Jones has resigned as the union’s president.
This suit filed against the leadership of UAW ties in with a larger investigation of the union and Fiat Chrysler which has already led to nine convictions.