A worker gives the thumbs-up gesture to a passing motorist as he demonstratives outside a General Motors facility in Langhorne, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked off General Motors factory floors or set up picket lines early Monday as contract talks with the company deteriorated into a strike. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Striking workers question whether UAW leaders can be trusted

September 18, 2019 - 11:48 am

ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) — The strike against General Motors by the United Auto Workers is playing out amid a corruption scandal inside the UAW that has caused distrust of the union leadership among many rank-and-file members.

On picket lines at plants across the country, many of the 49,000 workers have expressed doubts about whether leaders are acting in their best interests.

Some have gone so far as to wonder whether the leadership took them out on strike to show that the union is working for them.

Last month, the FBI raided the suburban Detroit home of the UAW president. He has not been charged. Earlier this month, a union official in Missouri was charged in a $600,000 embezzlement scheme, and another leader pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks.

The UAW, in its defense, says union members authorized the walkout.