Two UAW Members Face Jail Time After Blackmailing GM

It was 14 years ago that two United Auto Workers union members attempted to blackmail General Motors and now, a judge has ruled on the case, which could result in prison time for the two men.

The two men in question, Donny Douglas and Jay Campbell, were already convicted of blackmailing General Motors into hiring two, unqualified, people into highly paid positions in exchange for an end to the labor dispute. According to an article in the Detroit News, the U.S. 6th District Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions, but both men were ordered to return to the court for re-sentencing.

The decision made by the Circuit Court today suggested that U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds had made a mistake in her original sentencing by basing her decisions on just blackmail without the threat of violence. In reality, both men threatened to lengthen the strike if these people were not hired.

"In the midst of the world's current financial struggles, when the unemployment rate in this country fluctuates between nine and ten percent, it is somewhat laughable to argue that Douglas and Campbell did not demand a 'thing of value' when they demanded high-paying jobs for their cronies," according to today's opinion. "The value of a job, especially one that pays $150,000 per year, is undeniable."

The two men were sentenced to probation and home confinement in 2007, but they appealed that sentence. Once the case is back in the court’s hands, the judge must calculate the amount of damages that GM faced. The Detroit News is suggesting that GM lost $30,475 during the event, not to mention the $450,000 in legal fees.

This event was not the only time autoworkers were caught doing something illegal. Chrysler has been plagued with workers who were drinking and abusing drugs during their lunch breaks.

[The Detroit News]

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