Gary Jones, a trained accountant and former Ford Motor Co. employee, has been tapped to become the next president of the United Auto Workers next June.
Jones, a long-time union staff member who has been a member of the UAW’s executive board for the past five years, was selected as the candidate of choice of the so-called “Reuther” or administrative caucus, which has dominated the union’s internal politics since the late 1940s.
The officials vote for UAW president won’t come until next year during the convention. But during the past 70 years no challenger has ever succeeded in mounting a successful contest for the union presidency.
Union dissidents have complained for years that the system is rigged and campaigned for direct election of the union president by union members. The direct election of the president is expected to come up again at the union’s next convention 2018.
(Is the ground collapsing under the UAW? For more, Click Here.)
The caucus, which keeps its deliberations secret apparently, picked Jones because he was free of the taint of scandal that has settled over the union since the federal government indicted the widow of a former and now deceased top union official, General Holiefield.
Holiefield’s widow, Monica Morgan, and former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Vice President Alphonse Iacobelli have been indicted for embezzling $2 million in joint training funds.
Dennis Williams, the UAW current president has tried to mitigate the fallout from the scandal but has been criticized for not moving fast enough to counter the scandal.
(Click Here for details about the FCA/UAW training center investigation.)
Jones, while he has spent part of his career with the union in Detroit, moved to Kansas City, Missouri, to serve first as an assistant regional director and then as director of UAW Region 5, which watches out for UAW members and retirees in 17 states in the western and southwestern United States, including Missouri, California and Washington state
A graduate of the University of Tulsa and a certified public accountant, Jones was appointed top administrative assistant to former UAW Secretary-Treasurer Roy Wyse in 1995. He continued to serve in that capacity to Secretary-Treasurers Ruben Burks and Elizabeth Bunn, until his appointment as Region 5 assistant director in 2004.
In 1990, former UAW President Owen Bieber and then-Secretary-Treasurer Bill Casstevens appointed Jones to the International staff. He was assigned to the union’s Accounting Department. A year later, Jones was named chief accountant of the UAW.
(To see more about the UAW’s loss at Nissan’s Mississippi plant, Click Here.)
The fact that Jones is intimately familiar with the union’s finances and its financial problems as its union membership and shrunk also appears to members of the caucus, which is made up of the union’s members of the union’s executive board.