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Independent monitor investigating UAW President Shawn Fain over leadership changes

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain faces an investigation from an independent monitor following a leadership shakeup at the union. File Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain faces an investigation from an independent monitor following a leadership shakeup at the union. File Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI | License Photo

June 11 (UPI) -- The United Auto Workers independent monitor launched an investigation into the actions of union President Shawn Fain and Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock following changes in leadership.

The monitor, Neil Barofsky, is investigating the union's action to reassign nine departments that Mock had oversight of in February after she was accused of failing to fulfill financial requests from Fain and other union leaders.

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Mock said the decision to reassign the departments was "improperly instigated in retaliation for her refusal or reluctance to authorize certain expenditures of funds at the request of and/or for the benefit of those in the president's office," the monitor's report said.

She has denied any wrongdoing.

The monitor is also looking into Fain's decision to remove UAW Vice President Rich Boyer from oversight of UAW's Stellantis Department which Fain said in a memo was the result of Boyer's "dereliction of duty" regarding "certain collective bargaining issues."

Boyer and others within the union accused Fain of instead taking the action to retaliate against him for "among other things, refusing to engage in acts of financial misconduct to benefit others."

An unidentified international board member is facing a separate embezzlement investigation.

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Baraofsky also complained that union leaders have not been cooperative in promptly turning over requested information.

"The monitor has attempted for months to garner the union's cooperation in gathering the information needed to conduct a full investigation, but the union has effectively slow-rolled the monitor's access to requested documents," Barofsky said in court documents.

Failure to provide the monitor the information could violate a consent decree UAW reached with the Justice Department in 2020 that kept the federal government from taking over the union following a corruption scandal.

Fain addressed the court document in a statement released Monday.

"Taking the union in a new direction means sometimes you have to rock the boat and that upsets some people who want to keep the status quo, but our membership expects better and deserves better than the old business and usual," he said.

"We encourage the monitor to investigate whatever claims are brought to their office because we know what they'll find: a UAW leadership committed to serving the membership, and running a democratic union."

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