Saturday, July 11, 2020

FBI Raids Home of Labor Union Leader

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FBI and IRS agents swarmed the suburban Detroit home of United Auto Workers President Gary Jones, the union’s 1,000-acre resort and conference center, and other UAW headquarters this morning. 

The raids marked a dramatic escalation of the government’s corruption investigation into the prominent autoworker’s union.  

According to the Detroit Free Press:
 

As many as a dozen agents collected evidence from Jones’ home on Wildrose Drive in Canton, and they’ll remain there “as long as it takes,” Special Agent Mara Schneider said from the site late in the morning. The search lasted six hours.

One neighbor, 47-year-old J. Kevin Telepo, became so intrigued that he grabbed a pair of binoculars, sat in his dining room and zoomed in on Jones’ garage. That’s where he saw FBI agents combing through all sorts of stuff: cash, a golf bag and what appeared to be a safe, he said.

Extrapolating to the Free Press, Telepo added he saw agents “going through bundles of cash” in Jones’ garage.
 

Detroit automakers, whose contract with the UAW expires Sept. 14, declined to comment on the raids. On the broader corruption investigation, GM has said it is cooperating with authorities. FCA has said it is “a victim of illegal conduct by certain rogue individuals.”

The UAW also released a statement standing behind Jones, at least for now. Other active members, like Sean Crawford, a GM plant worker in Flint, suspected the raid had political undertones.
 

“Call me cynical but I feel the Trump administration willfully timed this to coincide with our negotiations so that the union would lose faith in the leadership,” said Crawford. “We’re getting ready to go into one of the biggest negotiations of our lifetime and we’re possibly going to lose faith in our union.”

 
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AAN Staff
AAN Staff
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