WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Members of the United Auto
Workers union have voted to change the union's election method
from the current delegate system to a direct election model, a
court-appointed monitor said.
The referendum showed 63.7%, or 89,615 votes, in favor of
the direct voting system, with 50,971, or 36.3%, for keeping the
status quo, monitor Neil Barofsky said.
The referendum at the 400,000-member union was required as
part of a U.S. Justice Department settlement announced in
December 2020 of corruption allegations that resulted in the
convictions of two former UAW presidents, among others.
Barofsky will confer with the UAW and then draft amendments
to the union's constitution to incorporate the direct voting
system. The next election of the UAWs president,
secretary-treasurer, vice presidents and regional directors will
be the first under the new rules and likely take place in 2022.
In total, 16 people have been convicted in the wide-ranging
investigation of corruption within the UAW or relating to
illegal payoffs to UAW officials by Fiat Chrysler executives.
Two former Fiat Chrysler executives have been convicted.
Several UAW officers, including the union's two former
presidents, have pleaded guilty to embezzling millions of
dollars for their personal benefit, using the funds for liquor,
cigars, golf outings, related equipment and expensive hotel
Barofsky said in a report last month the UAW has not done
"enough to respond to repeated warnings about the pressing need
to transform its culture."
The UAW represents about 150,000 workers at Detroits Big
Three automakers. It also represents thousands of workers in
other fields. At its peak in 1979, the union had a membership of
about 1.5 million.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and