Letter to the Editor Regarding Chris Brooks’ April 8 Article

BY Rory Gamble

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To the Editor:

In an April 7, 2020 article written by Chris Brooks, your reporter went to great lengths to suggest that the process followed by the UAW in voting to name me interim and then permanent president was somehow orchestrated by the sitting president. And when I say he went to great lengths, I mean that literally. Mr. Brooks left out a great deal of significant information, picking and choosing very carefully what he would and would not include in the article based on the narrative he sought to build. In fact, at one point, he actually contradicts himself in the text.

Here are some key points he chose not to include, as they did not support his narrative.

Within a few days of being named interim president, I announced an aggressive reform agenda to root out any wrongdoing and ensure that the corruption of the past could never happen again. One of my first acts was to start Article 30 charges against the former president to oust him from the union. That action certainly would not be in keeping with the narrative that Mr. Brooks sought to build, suggesting that the former president orchestrated who would be his successor. As his interim successor, I in fact, initiated a process that resulted in my predecessor not only resigning office — but resigning from the union.

Moreover, Mr. Brooks goes on to infer that the board voted for me because they truly are not an independent body and simply did the former president’s bidding. He then goes on to contradict himself by suggesting that the initial decision to name me interim president was contentious and the subject of much disagreement. So, which is it?

The truth is that the board did have a debate and a discussion, as is typical of our governance, and then came to a decision. The two major actions during my period as interim president were to announce major Ethics Reforms and oust the previous president form the union. And, the decision to appoint me permanent president was unanimous. Mr. Brooks' narrative does not logically hold.

The last point I would make about Mr. Brooks’ reporting is his peculiar reference to the ongoing federal investigation into the UAW. He infers that I am part of that investigation. I say ‘peculiar’ because Mr. Brooks and In These Times Editors were made aware of the fact that other publications have confirmed I am not a target or focus of the investigation. Why Mr. Brooks and editors would ignore published information that substantiated that I am not a target or focus of the investigation despite being aware of published reporting to the contrary raíses serious questions about the article's objectivity.

I am truly saddened and disappointed by this type of coverage, which clearly has an agenda. I don’t mind an objective reporting of facts but to purposely weave a misleading narrative like this one — carefully picking and choosing only the facts that support the reporter’s personal narrative and animus — is a disservice to the public and journalistic integrity.

Respectfully,

Rory L. Gamble

UAW President

Editors' note: Chris Brooks faithfully reported a March 5, 2020, Detroit News article stating that “Federal agents from the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department continue to investigate President Rory Gamble and former President Dennis Williams.” The Detroit News statement was not subsequently retracted or disputed. Nowhere did In These Times' story state that Mr. Gamble is a “target” or “focus” of a federal investigation. In These Times stands by our story.


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Rory Gamble is the President of the United Auto Workers union.

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