Approved ~~ MJM
Work hard, play hard — and on the union’s dime.
That might as well have been the motto for some former top officials at the United Automobile Workers, whose lavish spending on luxuries including high-end cigars, four-figure dining and California villas has been exposed in painstaking detail by federal prosecutors.
It’s a case that threatens to cause serious problems for top auto union bosses, including Gary Jones, who resigned as president last month under pressure. A complaint filed in September in Michigan federal court against union leader Vance Pearson refers to several unnamed individuals, but union officials have told the New York Times that one of them, UAW “Official A,” is, in fact, Jones, whose home was raided by federal agents.
And Official A’s wild expenses are all over the court documents, allegedly including $13,000 at a cigar store.
“A December 2015 Gary’s Sales invoice issued to ‘UAW c/o [UAW Official A]’ for a $13,046.91 purchase that included an order for 12 boxes of Ashton Double Magnum cigars at $268.00 per box (totaling $3,216) and 12 boxes of Ashton Monarch Tubos cigars at $274.50 a box (totaling $3,294),” was among the purchases listed in court documents. The documents listed another $13,000 purchase invoiced to Pearson from the same store the following year, part of an alleged $60,000 on cigar- and tobacco-related purchases between 2014 and 2018.