UAW President Gary Jones no longer belongs at current contract negotiations with Detroit's three automakers, The Detroit News says.
His "fitness for leadership is very much in doubt," the paper's lead editorial declares Friday, because of "an ever-growing scandal that now touches the very top ranks of the union’s leadership." FBI agents searched Jones' home this week, indicating he's a target "of the probe into bribery and kickbacks aimed at influencing labor contract negotiations," adds the 19-paragraph editorial.
The UAW is in the final stages of contract negotiations with the Detroit Three. The current contract covering 1.4 million members expires Sept. 15. . . .
The complexity of these talks demands capable and uncompromised leaders on both sides of the table.
Jones is leading the bargaining for the UAW. His credibility as an honest negotiator is gone, thanks to this week’s raids. Members can’t have confidence that Jones is acting in their best interests, or that any contract proposal he brings to them is untainted by the gifts, favors and cash that have flowed to UAW officials for years.
Jones should step aside from both the bargaining and the leadership of the union while the criminal case is unfolding.