WARREN TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – First News was curious about a brand new billboard on Route 45 in Warren Township. The sign attacks the United Auto Workers for a corruption scandal last year.
The billboard says, “Fact: UAW is under federal oversight after a corruption scandal.”
“The union was part of this massive corruption scandal. Our take on it is the public and workers need to be aware what the union went through and the consequences that it’s had for the union and its members,” said Charlyce Bozzello.
Bozzello is the communications director for The Center for Union Facts, located in Washington, D.C. They put up the billboard.
“This was a massive scandal — several union officials went to jail, including two union presidents,” Bozzello said.
According to an article by The New York Times, a federal investigation found widespread corruption with many of the top leaders embezzling more than $1 million.
The UAW has a history with Lordstown when General Motors was here. But The Center for Union Facts says that was not the reason for the billboard specifically.
“We do want to target places where we think the decision and this kind of awareness is going to have the biggest impact,” Bozzello said.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, Ultium Cells workers will vote if they want to join the UAW.
We asked the national UAW for a response to the billboard. The union said it doesn’t comment on ongoing organizing efforts.
The Center for Union Facts says it has done this in other communities that have seen controversies with a union.
“We try to target them in areas where we think we can add to the discussion that’s already percolating in the area,” Bozzello said.