Letter to the Editor Regarding Chris Brooks’ April 8 Article

Rory Gamble April 9, 2020

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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