Gary Jones, former United Auto Workers president, has given up his membership in the UAW, avoiding an internal union trial on embezzlement that could have stripped him of his union membership.
The UAW announced that Jones has sent the resignation of his membership in the union. Jones had faced internal UAW Article 30 charges that would have removed him from office and from his membership. He had previously resigned his office as president.
The union’s executive board is expected to meet as soon as next week to name a permanent replacement for Jones, who was elected president during the union’s constitutional convention in 2018.
His resignation follows the first court appearance in Detroit earlier this week by one of Jones closes associates, Vance Pearson, the former director of UAW Region Five in Hazelwood, Missouri. Federal prosecutors have charged Pearson with embezzlement and misusing union funds for personal gain.
Pearson’s hearing was continued until January at which time he is expected to say whether he intended to enter or guilty plea or request a jury trial on the charges.
Jones has not been charged by federal authorities, but the case drawn up against Pearson as outlined in court documents could also be used against the former UAW president since he is directly implicated by same set of fact. In addition, while federal prosecutors have not charged Jones, they have reported that the FBI found $30,000 in cash in the garage of his suburban Detroit home.
Lawyers working for the union also appear to have found evidence of Jones misconduct as they prepared the charges for an internal trial under the union’s constitution.
Jones’ resignation and Pearson’s court appearance are the results of a wide ranging federal probe into corruption in the union and labor relations in the auto industry. In all, three executives from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and a total of six UAW officers or officials have pled guilty to federal crimes as a result of the probe.
In addition, the widow of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, Monica Morgan, pleaded guilty to federal tax charges and charges are pending against former UAW vice president Joe Ashton, who also served on General Motors Board of directors.
Meanwhile, the UAW is in the midst of negotiating a new labor agreement with FCA, which also was sued earlier this month by General Motors, which claimed it was victimized by FCA’s “labor racketeering.”