Letter From UAW President Rory Gamble

My Sisters and Brothers,

I’ve said from the day I stepped into this office that I was fully prepared — and willing — to withstand the scrutiny that I knew this position would bring. And I meant that. What I am not willing to tolerate is blatantly irresponsible, inaccurate reporting that seeks to divide this union, divide us, and diminish our purpose.

So, I want to talk to you today, once again, about some of the reporting we saw last week from the Detroit News. This news outlet has consistently — and increasingly — published misleading and irresponsible stories based on unsubstantiated innuendo. Purportedly using unnamed, unidentified and anonymous “sources.”

Last Thursday’s Detroit News coverage of the charges filed against a former UAW member suggested, once again, that I was a target of the federal investigation. I want to state very clearly here that the federal prosecutors have never identified me or suggested in any way that I am a target of this investigation, despite this news outlet’s continued attempts to tie me publicly to the investigation. Moreover, the complaint filed with the federal court last week in connection with the former UAW member did not contain a single reference to me. NOT ONE SINGLE REFERENCE. That irrefutable fact is something the Detroit News continues to ignore.

I’d like to bring up another instance of the News targeting one of my UAW brothers with innuendo and just plain false information. Earlier this year, just before he was appointed VP, the News reported an inaccurate quote that then-Regional Director Gerald Kariem was never seen on the GM picket line. The facts are this: Brother Kariem was on picket lines all over Region 1D and appeared in numerous photos alongside his striking brothers and sisters, picket sign in hand. We actually sent a photo of Brother Kariem on the picket line to the News before they ran the false story. They printed the story anyway with the inaccurate quote.

These unsubstantiated attacks by the Detroit News began to take on a distinctly personal tone, just weeks after I took office as President. After a 38-year career of service to our union without a hint of blemish on my credibility, and after a federal investigation that started in 2013, my name has never come up. Suddenly, in early January, just days after I took office, a salacious story appeared in the News, targeting me personally with a series of unverified innuendos of wrongdoing. One of the most shocking examples of this coverage was the News running a story on the pens that were handed out at our February CAP conference. This was a simple vendor error and the News was provided with objective, conclusive documentation that it was the vendor’s mistake.

Despite having that information and documentation, the News doubled down and ran the story anyway with this headline (which was utterly salacious and obvious clickbait): “UAW honors Gamble with commemorative pens from China”. Moreover, they reached out to our members and frankly misled them to get quotes for the story.

I have to say here that this level of irresponsible reporting is purposeful, and it demonstrates a biased reporting standard meant to harm this union. The level of bias in the Detroit News’ reporting, and the new attacks on me personally, is truly shocking and troubling. Now I’m going to tell you that the Detroit News has a long history of hostility toward the UAW, dating back to the bitter newspaper strike of the mid 1990s. Today’s reporting appears to be motivated by an agenda or narrative of anti-UAW bias.

I will not be silent when these stories appear. I will, as I have said since my first day as President, speak directly to my brothers and sisters. I will be transparent about any issues concerning myself, our leadership or this union, and I will speak up immediately.

Brothers and sisters, no amount of personal attacks, distractions or obstacles will deter me from this task. I remain unshakably steadfast in my promise to this membership: We will right this ship, strengthen this union and restore your trust.

In Solidarity,










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