Brothers and Sisters,
We have a great charge — and a great duty — ahead of us.
In my first message as President, I said that I would communicate with you and keep you updated on major reform initiatives that we are implementing across our union. The International Executive Board has entrusted me to take this union forward, and I take that charge very seriously. I know you do, too. Our staff and our members are the backbone of this institution, and I want you to know that the IEB and I value each and every one of you and we need your help to succeed in this momentous task.
I have said that I would move swiftly to enact reforms that would strengthen this union and our resolve to move forward. With the support of the International Executive Board, we have done just that. Our reform agenda will touch every part of this union and every region.
We do this on behalf of our members, our union and this great cause of ours for the working men and women of this country.
And I say here: We need your help and support, and we welcome your feedback.
Establishment of a UAW Ethics Officer
The UAW has also appointed Wilma Liebman, a distinguished public servant and expert in labor policy, as its external Ethics Officer. Ms. Liebman served as the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011, having previously been appointed to the NLRB by both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush from 1997 until 2009. In her role as the external Ethics Officer, Ms. Liebman will oversee the Ethics Ombudsman’s investigations, hold hearings at her discretion, and issue reports and recommendations of her findings and recommended corrective action to the appropriate UAW officials whenever warranted.
Establishment of an Ethics Hotline
The UAW is committed to maintaining an ethical, transparent, and accountable environment.
To serve this purpose, the UAW provides an Ethics Hotline for UAW members, employees, and others who have had professional interactions with the Union to confidentially report unethical conduct by International UAW officials, staff, or employees, whenever other available channels of communication are impractical or not preferable under the circumstances.
The Ethics Hotline is open 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, via a toll-free phone number or web-based reporting service. The UAW is using an experienced outside firm to run the Ethics Hotline. The UAW will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of individuals who use the Ethics Hotline. Any retaliation for good faith reports is strictly prohibited by the UAW and will not be tolerated.
The UAW has appointed Exiger LLC, a highly experienced and reputable compliance and investigations firm, currently to serve in the role of the UAW’s Ethics Ombudsman with responsibility to review and investigate allegations of ethical or financial misconduct received through the Ethics Hotline.
To access the Ethics Hotline via the web, visit website: www.lighthouse-services.com/uaw
To access the Ethics Hotline via the telephone, dial
phone number: (866) 830-0006
Establishment of an Ethics Ombudsman
The establishment of an Ethics Ombudsman office to receive, review and investigate ethics complaints and allegations, and report to the external Ethics Officer. The UAW has appointed Exiger LLC, a highly experienced and reputable compliance and investigations firm, currently to serve in the role of the UAW’s Ethics Ombudsman with responsibility to review and investigate allegations of ethical or financial misconduct received through the Ethics Hotline.
Exiger was initially launched to lead the monitorship of HSBC, the largest and most comprehensive corporate monitorship ever mandated by the U.S. government. Exiger provides a full spectrum of strategic fact-finding and analytic services to clients worldwide that routinely includes review and implementation of compliance programs. Exiger’s professionals have extensive experience working with unions, and addressing issues related to compliance and integrity. Exiger’s experts have also implemented and run whistleblower hotlines for unions and other high-profile clientele. Exiger was responsible for setting up and running a hotline as part of the Hurricane Sandy integrity monitorship, which allows anyone with concerns related to this construction project to call in and file a complaint. Most recently, Exiger wrote the policies and procedures for a well-known international nonprofit organization’s harassment whistleblower hotline.
Policy for Recovery of Misuse of Funds
The introduction of a new policy that will enhance enforcement against those who have been found guilty of misusing funds and our commitment to seek recovery of all misused or misappropriated funds.
The banning of all charitable contributions from UAW joint program centers, vendors, or employers to any charities run or controlled by UAW officials.
The enactment of accountability measures to the Joint Programs, including that purchases of promotional items using joint program funds have been permanently banned and all expenditures will be controlled, monitored, and regularly audited by independent public accounting firms.
The implementation of stringent monetary controls that increase oversight by the UAW Accounting Department over the finances of our union.
ESTABLISHMENT OF ETHICS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The UAW has committed to actively obtaining rank-and-file input into future ethics policy through the creation of an Ethics Advisory Committee. The committee includes UAW members and individuals from the UAW’s Public Review Board.
The UAW has hired four additional auditors, all with post-secondary coursework in accounting/finance/tax regulation to assist with increased auditing process.
New External Auditing Firm
The UAW has retained a new external accounting firm — with a nationwide practice and an expertise working with labor organizations — that conducted the financial audit work of the International Union for 2019, and is also conducting a one-year lookback into all financials. This firm will also be handling the UAW financial reporting going forward.
Expanded Internal Training
The Secretary-Treasurer’s office is implementing a comprehensive expansion of financial training for all UAW personnel responsible for any financial/accounting duties. Personnel will be trained on new accounting procedures, operational procedures, new regulations, labor laws, updated policies and procedures and new checks and balances, etc.
Increased Centralization of Accounting/Financial Operations
As part of this comprehensive overhaul, financial operations will be more centralized with oversight from the Secretary-Treasurer’s Office and subject to the stringent new policies and procedures implemented as a result of the overall independent audit.
Strict Bonding Certificate Enforcement
The UAW is aggressively utilizing the Bonding Certificate system in place to clawback or recover 100% of any misappropriated funds prior to any restitution afforded by the courts.
Dear UAW Brothers and Sisters: I want to share some updates with you today on our Ethics Reforms. Since November of 2019, our union has taken many significant steps forward in moving past this dark chapter in our history and rebuilding trust with UAW members. I have said from my first days in this office