UAW President Shawn Fain Under Investigation for Alleged Retaliation


uaw president shawn fain under investigation for alleged retaliation

UAW president Shawn Fain had a blockbuster 2023, winning a significant victory in the union’s battle for better pay and benefits from Detroit’s big three automakers. Despite another win organizing VW’s Tennessee plant, Fain’s 2024 isn’t shaping up to be as meteoric as last year. The leader is facing an independent investigation over claims that he retaliated against other union officials.

Fain said he welcomed the investigation, which comes after allegations that Fain retaliated against the UAW’s secretary-treasurer for her refusal to authorize expenditures for his office. The employee, Margaret Mock, is also under investigation.

uaw president shawn fain under investigation for alleged retaliation

Fain said he wanted 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. Taking our 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.”

Though he’s in the spotlight now, Fain isn’t the first UAW president to be rocked by controversy. Neil Barofsky, the same monitor running the investigation today, conducted a probe in 2021 that resulted in two former presidents being sentenced to prison.

uaw president shawn fain under investigation for alleged retaliation

While Fain’s future remains uncertain, this investigation doesn’t help political leaders with ties to the union. President Joe Biden often courts union employees and was an outspoken supporter of its efforts in 2023. The union also endorsed Biden for the extremely tight 2024 presidential election, so any cracks in its foundation could be politically damaging.

[Images: Domenico Fornas, Jon Rehg, and Luis Yanez via Shutterstock]

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