After reading this report, ask yourself just one question: If the President found it necessary to fire Rick Wagoner as CEO of General Motors, why is there no similar accountability on the part of UAW President Ron Gettlefinger?
Today, amidst further negotiations between General Motors (GM), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the federal government, the UAW filed its yearly financial report which shows hard times for auto workers did not translate to the UAW’s lavish expense accounts and salaries.
Every UAW officer made in excess of $141,000 in total compensation in 2008. More than 550 employees (over half of the staff making above $10,000 annually) made more than $100,000 in total compensation. Over the course of the year, the union expensed $98,775 on golf courses, another $75,492 at casinos, and over $150,000 at resort conference centers.
The $33 million UAW-owned Black Lake Golf Course came with its own costs. The union spent $23,488 in member dues in a tax assessment dispute regarding property taxes for the course, and $28,000 transporting people to the resort. Unlike years past, the union did not file an auditor’s report revealing how much the course lost in operations.
The excessive spending doesn’t end there. Towels ($7,842), puzzles ($7,617), ponchos ($9,015), 35 “handcrafted computer bags” ($5,394), and bowling tournaments ($29,867) were all paid for with money from union members’ salaries. They also spent $172,641 on what must have been extremely luxurious briefcases and another $149,592 on t-shirts!
You might expect that the UAW spent 2008 getting its financial priorities in tune with the the dismal state of the domestic automotive industry, but you’d be wrong. At a time when the entire automotive industry is making deep cuts, the UAW continues to spend members hard-earned dues on frivolous expenses. With leadership like that, it is not surprising that the UAW’s membership fell to a record low not seen since before World War II.