Federal inspector says UAW leaders are creating ‘blockades’ for investigations

A federal regulator is investigating United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain and other union leaders for possibly not fully cooperating with his work to investigate union corruption.

In a federal court filing Monday, union leader Neil Barofsky wrote: “The union has partially cooperated … but has also put up obstacles that prevent the union leader from promptly and credibly conducting an investigation.”

In 2020, the United Auto Workers reached a deal with federal prosecutors to address systemic corruption within the union. The deal came after a federal investigation into union corruption sent many union leaders to prison. As part of the agreement to prevent a federal takeover of the union, a special overseer was appointed to impose reforms on the UAW.

Barofsky is investigating allegations involving the union’s senior international executive and a regional director. The investigation also includes allegations of retaliation by Fain against one of the union’s vice presidents.

Fain issued a statement in which he did not directly address the allegations.

“We encourage the Monitor to investigate all allegations brought to his office because we know what they will find: a UAW leadership committed to serving its members and running a democratic union,” Fain said in a written statement.