UAW Implements Ethics Reform Priorities with Hiring of First-Ever Ethics Officer and Activation of Confidential Ethics Hotline
Wilma Liebman Hired as Chief Ethics Officer
Ethics Advisory Committee Announced
DETROIT – UAW President Rory L. Gamble and the International Executive Board (IEB) announced the appointment today of Wilma Liebman as the Union’s first-ever external Ethics Officer. Liebman is a distinguished public servant and expert in labor policy who served as the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board under President Barack Obama from 2009-2011, having previously been appointed as a member of the NLRB by both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush beginning in 1997. Additionally, the UAW has launched a new confidential Ethics Hotline for union members to report ethical or financial violations.
“While our country and Union navigate the difficult challenges of this pandemic, today’s actions mark an important step in the progress of our ethics reform agenda and underline our unwavering pledge to our members that their Union is committed to operating at the highest level of integrity on their behalf,” said UAW President Rory L. Gamble. “We know that in hiring Ms. Liebman to lead this important work, we are gaining an expert on labor law, widely respected for her knowledge and integrity, who will set a high bar for our Union in the years to come. Also, with the infrastructure we are putting in place to ensure members can report financial or ethics complaints on a confidential basis, we are installing critical pieces to receive and investigate information about alleged wrongdoing.”
The appointment of an outside Ethics Officer is part of a series of reforms the UAW began implementing in November. Liebman will work externally from the Union, and will have the responsibility and authority, along with the Ethics Ombudsman, to review and investigate alleged financial misconduct or ethics violations that are reported through the Ethics Hotline. The Ethics Officer will issue a report with her findings to the appropriate UAW official(s) and to the IEB and, where warranted, recommendations for corrective action. A report on discipline or corrective action taken will be made back to the Ethics Officer.
“I’m honored that President Gamble and the International Executive Board have entrusted me with the job of being the first external Ethics Officer of the UAW,” said Liebman. “My job, first and foremost, will be to ensure UAW leaders and employees operate with the utmost integrity, and that any unethical conduct is promptly investigated and properly acted upon. I look forward to bringing my decades of experience dealing with labor issues to this role and to being a part of the UAW’s comprehensive ethics program. The UAW has a proud history, and it is critical that its members have full confidence in their union’s strong future. I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens.”
Confidential Ethics Hotline System Put in Place and
Ethics Ombudsman Role Filled
UAW President Rory L. Gamble also announced today that the UAW Ethics Hotline will open on March 31, 2020, as part of the UAW’s pledge to enact significant ethics reforms to safeguard the Union from corruption and identify misconduct. “The Ethics Hotline is integral to our effort to create a transparent, more accountable, and more responsible future for our Union, and it has the full backing and support of myself and our entire leadership,” said President Gamble.
Reports submitted to the Ethics Hotline will be screened and investigated by Exiger LLC, a highly experienced third-party Compliance and Ethics investigative firm staffed with numerous former law enforcement professionals that the UAW has hired to serve as the Union’s current Ethics Ombudsman. Exiger will report their investigative findings to Wilma Liebman, the newly appointed external Ethics Officer, who will have the authority to direct additional investigatory steps whenever she deems it necessary or appropriate.
Enhanced Financial Controls
The UAW is also instituting new and more robust financial and accounting reviews and controls to protect members’ dues from any potential act of malfeasance.
Establishment of Ethics Advisory Committee
The UAW has also committed to actively obtaining rank-and-file input into future ethics policy through the creation of an Ethics Advisory Committee, to include UAW members and members from the UAW’s Public Review Board. Details of the Committee will be announced in the second quarter of 2020.
For more information on the UAW’s comprehensive ethics reform agenda, please visit uaw.org/ethics