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Comedian Artie Lange sits down with the Tom Shillue Show and opens up about his lifelong battle with addiction. Lange tries to explain why so many people still care about him despite so many setbacks in his recovery.
ComedianArtie Lange isn’t entirely sure how he survived his 30-year battle with drugaddiction,but says he wears his deformed nose as a badge of honor for making it this far.
“Obviously my nose is still a mess, but it’s funny — I like that as a reminder,” Lange, 51, told TMZ. “Every time I look in the mirror, it reminds me of the insane life I led. A lot of bad decisions I made — I mean, 30 years of drug abuse, snorting heroin and cocaine, [and] I accidentally snorted glass once, which is a long story.”
(A brief version of Lange’s “long story” about snorting glass: A former fling of Lange’s used a glass salt shaker in a hotel room to crush OxyContin for him to snort, inadvertently shattering the glass shaker. Pieces of glass mixed in with the crushed OxyContin, which Lange didn’t notice until after he’d snorted the exceedingly dangerous mixture, leading him to weeks of chronic nosebleeds thereafter.)
“I got punched in the face once by a guy collecting money for a bookie. This nose should be a reminder to young people — I hope it is: If you can make money, have some success, you can still live like a straight-up scumbag.”
Lange, who revealed last week that he’s seven months sober, admitted that at the lowest points of his addiction, he was reminded of friends Mitch Hedberg and Greg Giraldo, who suffered untimely deaths due to their own battles with substance abuse.
“I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna just be found dead in a hotel room. I’m not gonna make it,'” he recalled. “God spared me. For some reason I’m still here.”
He was quick to explain, however, that his character remains relatively unscathed despite his “scumbag” struggles.
“I’ve never been a bad person but I’ve done some bad things because I was addicted to drugs and still am,” he said. “But I’m in recovery now, so I’m happy to see people responding well to me looking better.”
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said on Monday that the House Democrats’ move on President Trump’s impeachment last week is nothing more than an effort to “satisfy a base who really do not like this president.”
Collins went on to say, “The reality here is, last week, we took rules that were already in place. We packaged them up, we made it look different, we wanted to think people something is going on,” the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee told “America’s Newsroom.”
“The reality is that they’re not legislating,” Collins said.
House Judiciary Democrats on Thursday took a big step in their Trump impeachment push as they set the ground rules for a formal committee inquiry. However, Republicans laughed it off as a “giant Instagram filter” to hide how divided Democrats truly are on the question.
The committee voted 24-17 to define the rules for future committee impeachment hearings. The committee is not writing articles of impeachment, and nothing is going to the floor of the House right now, but the session still holds political consequences for both sides of the aisle.
“The resolution before us represents the necessary next step in our investigation of corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power,” committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in his opening statement.
The vote allows members to show the impeachment-eager base they are moving forward, but the push has also rattled some Democrats from more moderate districts.
General Motors workers across the country walked out of plants at midnight Monday as the largest U.S. auto strike in more than a decade got underway.
The United Auto Workers called for the work stoppage after the union failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement covering some 46,000 workers at dozens of facilities. GM and the union remained far apart in negotiations on Sunday, when UAW leaders converged on Detroit and decided overwhelmingly to strike after their contract expired over the weekend.
There’s no telling how long the impasse could last. Shutting down plants is extremely costly for GM and within weeks could lead to slimming choices for buyers on dealer lots. But workers could start to feel pain, too, as they try to eke by on union strike pay of just $250 per week, a fraction of what the typical employee earns.
The massive strike wasn’t hard to see coming. As HuffPost reported in July, GM has been enormously profitable ― though profits have recently been falling ― and workers who sacrificed during the auto industry’s crisis in 2007 are expecting a bigger share of the gains.
At the same time, GM is intent on keeping its labor costs down as the company braces for a sales slowdown and pumps money into electric and autonomous vehicles.
Rebecca Cook / Reuters General Motors assembly worker Scott Gribson pickets outside the General Motors Powertrain Flint Engine plant during the national strike in Flint, Michigan, Sept. 16, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Meanwhile, the company’s announcement last year that it would idle five plants in the U.S. and Canada has left many workers bitter. Those affected have either lost their jobs or had to pick up and move their families in order to maintain GM work at another facility. The union has made a top priority of securing new production at some of the idled plants through the contract talks.
Negotiators in the quadrennial contract talks are typically tight-lipped, but GM took the rare step on Sunday of publicly releasing the outlines of its offer to the union that was rejected. It included $7 billion in investments and “solutions for unallocated assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio” ― that is, some form of work going to two plants scheduled for idling. GM said it had plans for a production line for electric trucks and a site for battery manufacturing.
The company did not specify the wages or health care coverage offered, except to say it put raises on the table and promised to “retain nationally-leading health care benefits,” a formulation that could easily mean higher out-of-pocket expenses for workers. GM workers generally have very good health coverage ― a necessity, they maintain, for the taxing work ― and the company has been eager to pare costs.
Scenes from Michigan, Kentucky and elsewhere showed workers hitting the picket lines right at midnight. Workers assigned to the morning shifts showed up to picket instead of reporting for work.
An estimated 1,200 Flint Assembly workers streamed out of the plant along Van Slyke Avenue in their cars at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, marking the beginning of the UAW’s first national strike since 2007. pic.twitter.com/X7nWHKNzBU
The broad brushes of GM’s deal didn’t address two obvious sticking points in the talks: the time it takes workers to earn top pay, and the company’s use of temporary workers. In 2007, the union agreed to a two-tiered wage system that put newer hires on a lower pay scale than more senior workers. While their 2015 agreement created a pathway for those workers to earn the top rate of around $30 per hour, it now takes eight years for them to get there ― a system known as “in-progression.”
Many workers demand that runway be shortened. They also want to see GM using fewer temps ― the company says around 7% of its production workforce is temporary ― and converting them to traditional positions.
Sean Crawford, a materials handler at GM’s Flint, Michigan, truck assembly plant, epitomizes many of the thorny issues at the bargaining table. As a post-2007 hire, he needed to work eight years before topping out. And, as someone who was working at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant slated to be idled, he had to move back to Flint in order to keep his job.
Crawford told HuffPost ahead of the strike that he was more than willing to walk out, if that’s what it took.
“It’s one of those built-in, divide-and-conquer strategies that benefits the company,” Crawford said of temps and the in-progression system. “It’s a very real division and it needs to be addressed.”
This year the UAW is negotiating new contracts with all of the Big Three automakers ― GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. It chose to talk with GM first, and the contract it ultimately reaches with the company generally sets the framework for talks with the other two companies to follow, a system known as “pattern bargaining.” The union extended its earlier agreements with Ford and Fiat Chrysler as it bargained with GM, meaning there is no immediate likelihood of a strike at those companies.
At the same time it is trying to reach crucial new contracts, the UAW is facing a widening corruption probe in Detroit ― a dynamic that puts even more pressure on union leadership to score wins at the bargaining table. Last week a high-ranking union official was charged with embezzlement and money laundering. The indictment included embarrassing details that play into stereotypes of union corruption, like$60,000 spent on cigars.
The Detroit News reported that UAW President Gary Jones is directly implicated in the probe, as an unnamed union official in court papers. Jones’ house was searched in August.
The potential misuse of member dues has made plenty of UAW members pessimistic about leadership. As Crawford told HuffPost, winning a good contract is “probably the only thing” that could restore confidence for many members.
The union and GM were expected to resume talks on Monday.
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A Go Fund Me named “In Support of the Brian Turk Family” was set up in July as he battled the disease.
It read: “Just over a year ago our dear friend, Brian Turk, was diagnosed with cancer.
Actor Brian Turk attends the premiere party by the TV Academy Costume Design & Supervision Peer Group on Aug. 5, 2004 at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in Hollywood, California. (Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
“Being the selfless and private person that he is, Brian kept this quiet so as not to concern his family and friends.
“Brian has impacted so many of us in a positive way whether it be on the football field, at Mater Dei or USC, on stage or in our personal lives. He has always been there for us in our times of need and celebration.”
Brian Turk was born in May 1970 and lived in Colorado. He began his acting career in 1993 with early roles in shows such as “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” “Panther” and “Beach House.” He later starred as Tiny in “Beverly Hills, 90210” in 1995.
Turk also had many film credits to his name, including “American Pie 2,” “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles,” and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”
Brian leaves behind his wife, Emily Wu, and his eight-year-old son.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates for the second time this year on Wednesday as policymakers try to get ahead of economic risks emanating from a global slowdown, President Trump’s trade war and uncertainty about the road ahead.
The central bank’s leadership is under immense political pressure from Mr. Trump, who denounces its reluctance to slash rates more aggressively on Twitter almost daily.
“Will Fed ever get into the game? Dollar strongest EVER!” Mr. Trump said in a tweet on Monday. “Big Interest Rate Drop, Stimulus!”
…The United States, because of the Federal Reserve, is paying a MUCH higher Interest Rate than other competing countries. They can’t believe how lucky they are that Jay Powell & the Fed don’t have a clue. And now, on top of it all, the Oil hit. Big Interest Rate Drop, Stimulus!
The Fed, which operates independently of the White House, is expected to cut rates just slightly this week, to a range between 1.75 and 2 percent, in a bid to insulate economic growth as threats to the outlook mount. That remains far above Mr. Trump’s previously stated desire for zero or negative interest rates.
Yet even a modest cut could prove contentious as Fed officials wrestle with mixed economic signals and try to gauge whether Mr. Trump’s sometimes-hot, sometimes-cold trade war is creating economic uncertainty that can and should be offset by central bank action.
Two members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted against the Fed’s July rate cut — its first cut in more than a decade — and may dissent against any further reduction at this meeting, given that the economy is growing and unemployment remains near a 50-year low. Another committee member has voiced support for a larger-than-expected move in the face of global risks.
That discord could make it more difficult for Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, to clearly communicate what comes next at a time when the economic outlook itself is particularly hazy.
Although many investors expect another cut in October and will hang on Mr. Powell’s every word for any hint at timing, Mr. Powell will probably try to keep the Fed’s options open. He has so far avoided committing the Fed to movement, saying only that it will do what is needed to sustain the economic expansion.
The big question facing the Fed is whether the expansion will need additional support from the central bank.
Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, is under immense political pressure from President Trump, even though the Fed operates independently of the White House.CreditArnd Wiegmann/Reuters
Inflation has shown signs of moving back toward the Fed’s 2 percent goal, and consumer spending, the job market and overall growth have remained resilient so far. But Mr. Trump’s trade war is denting business investment and exacerbating a manufacturing slowdown, and it is unclear how — or whether — it will be resolved. The United States and China are expected to meet again next month, and both sides have taken steps before that meeting to ease their trade fight. But a deal is not guaranteed, and Mr. Trump plans to impose tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports by the end of the year if one is not reached.
Adding to the mixed economic picture: Household confidence is wobbling, and the global economic picture is tenuous. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is on the brink of recession, and Britain is grappling with its contentious exit from the European Union.
“The consumer is doing well, but there are other parts of the economy that aren’t doing well: manufacturing being the obvious one, but business investment is weak, and foreign demand is weak,” said Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist at J. P. Morgan, who expects policymakers to cut rates one more time this year. “I don’t necessarily think they have a plan to go again, but I think the economy will continue to look a little soft.”
A strike on a Saudi Arabian oil facility over the weekend could further complicate the picture. It will at least temporarily disrupt oil supplies and affect prices, though many experts say a severe shock to consumers is unlikely. Still, it opens the door to intensified geopolitical tension.
Heightening Mr. Powell’s communications challenge, the Fed will release new economic projections after the meeting for the first time since June. That means the Fed chair will have to knit his 16 colleagues’ interest rate projections into one comprehensive narrative.
While the Fed is closely monitoring short-term risks, its long-term challenges may be even more daunting. Interest rates will stand below 2 percent if the central bank lowers them this week, leaving policymakers with limited room to cut come the next recession. For context, they lowered rates by more than five percentage points in reaction to the 2007 to 2009 downturn.
“The Fed simply doesn’t have enough firefighting capability at its disposal to fight even an average next recession, let alone a financial crisis — anything that history would later label a Great Recession,” said David Wilcox, who directed research and statistics at the Fed until last year and is now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “We run the risk that the next recession will therefore be that much deeper, that much more prolonged — because the Fed won’t be in a good position to arrest downward momentum once it begins.”
Fed officials often say that they have tools left to bolster the economy. Still, they plan to discuss options for conducting monetary policy amid lower interest rates at their upcoming meetings. The conversations so far seems to center on keeping inflation from getting stuck in low gear.
The Fed aims for 2 percent annual price increases, but has not hit that target sustainably since formally adopting it in 2012. That matters in part because inflation gives the central bank headroom to cut interest rates, which do not strip out price gains. Lower inflation makes for even less room to maneuver.
One short-term fix, supported in a recent editorial by Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, is to promise to keep rates low until inflation moves back to, or even just above, the central bank’s 2 percent goal. In theory, such a commitment would prove the Fed’s seriousness and help to keep consumers’ and investors’ inflation expectations, which have been slipping, from sinking lower. It could provide extra stimulus by making investors expect low rates for longer.
President Mario Draghi, right, of the European Central Bank said Europe’s central bankers are unanimous on one point: Elected officials who make tax and spending decisions need to do better.CreditMartti Kainulainen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
President Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank, which is also facing stubbornly low inflation, made a softened version of that commitment last week.
At the Fed, other ideas up for discussion include aiming for 2 percent inflation on average over a period of time or targeting a price level, rather than a rate of change. Either plan would probably leave interest rates lower for longer after recessions as officials tried to make up for inflation shortfalls.
Some central bank watchers worry that tweaks to the framework could prove inadequate to restock the monetary arsenal, especially because Mr. Powell and his vice chair, Richard H. Clarida, often characterize the rethinking as “evolution, not revolution.”
“I hope that the Fed leadership will not feel constrained from adopting a new inflation control framework, merely because they have said that they’ll be evolutionary,” said Mr. Wilcox, who favors a higher inflation target. He said he also hoped for “an acknowledgment” that “there is a serious risk that our tools will not be adequate for fighting the next recession.”
“They need to give Congress the opportunity to pre-position a fiscal response to the next recession,” Mr. Wilcox said, indicating that the Fed should be transparent about its lack of monetary policy options so lawmakers can start to think of solutions.
The Fed does have more wiggle room than its counterparts in Europe, Japan and the United Kingdom, which have very low or even negative interest rates.
If the global economy tips into outright recession, “the Fed has monetary policy room to address all of that,” Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England, said in New York last week. “The Bank of England, with various tools, is close, but not all the way there, and the E.C.B. is farther away.”
Mr. Draghi said Europe’s central bankers are unanimous on one point: Fiscal policymakers, the elected officials who make tax and spending decisions, need to step up their game.
But the Fed’s comparatively better position is hardly a bright side, because the American economy could feel the fallout if major global trading partners struggle to combat domestic slowdowns.
“We are carefully watching developments as we assess their implications for the U.S. outlook and the path of monetary policy,” Mr. Powell said last month, noting that “further evidence of a global slowdown” ranked among those risks.
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If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.
Di Pace also said he has no idea how Loughlin’s character, Aunt Becky, will be written off of the series’ upcoming final season, explaining, “They don’t tell me about that. We don’t talk about that.”
“Fuller House” star Juan Pablo di Pace says he’s not sure exactly how Lori Loughlin was written out of the show following the college admissions scandal, but that everyone was sad to see her go. (Getty)
“I haven’t been on the show yet and it hasn’t come up, so I’m going to talk to some people about it this week and see what’s going on,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “I’m just going to wait a little longer before I talk about it. It’s a difficult situation for everyone involved. I don’t mean just on our side.”
Last month, Stamos told GQ of Loughlin’s criminal case, “I gotta be careful. I want to wait until the trial happens, if it does, or whatever the result is, and then talk about it. … I’ll tell you one thing that has been strange is: Honestly I can’t figure it out. It doesn’t make sense.”
“The one who is actually being assaulted is Justice Kavanaugh,” Trump tweeted. “Assaulted by lies and Fake News! This is all about the LameStream Media working with their partner, the Dems.”
Citing a report on the morning program “Fox & Friends, Trump also tweeted “‘The New York Times walks back report on Kavanaugh assault claim.'”
The Times actually clarified a part of a story about a new book, what the newspaper called “an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party.”
In an editor’s note attached to the story, the Times said: “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”
The article, an essay adapted from a forthcoming book called “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh,” also dealt with allegations from Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party.
Ramirez’s story can be more corroborated that was done at the time of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings last year, the authors said.
“During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been ‘the talk of campus,'” wrote authors Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.
“Our reporting suggests that it was,” they added. “At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge.”
Several Democrats, including presidential candidates, said they believe Kavanaugh lied at his confirmation hearings as they called for impeachment proceedings.
“I sat through those hearings,” tweeted Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., one of the presidential candidates. “Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.”
Aides to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who chaired the Kavanaugh hearings, said Ramirez’s allegations were investigated and found to be wanting.
“The committee’s review found no verifiable evidence to support the claims,” said a tweet fro Grassley’s press staff.
Trump also defended Kavanaugh on Sunday, saying the man he nominated to the nation’s highest court should sue for libel, a suggestion he repeated on Monday.
“DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WILL DO OR SAY,” Trump tweeted. “They are looking to destroy, and influence his opinions – but played the game badly. They should be sued!”
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The United Automobile Workers union went on strike at General Motors, sending nearly 50,000 members at factories across the Midwest and South to picket lines on Monday morning.
With the two sides far apart, U.A.W. regional leaders in Detroit voted unanimously on Sunday morning to authorize the strike, the union’s first such walkout since 2007. It began at midnight, after the union’s current bargaining agreement expired on Saturday.
“Today, we stand strong and say with one voice, we are standing up for our members and for the fundamental rights of working-class people in this nation,” Terry Dittes, a union vice president, said after the meeting.
The U.A.W. is pushing G.M. to improve wages, reopen idled plants, add jobs at others and close or narrow the difference between pay rates for new hires and veteran workers. G.M. wants employees to pay a greater portion of their health care costs, and to increase work force productivity and flexibility in factories.
Although the company has been earning substantial profits in North America — and it made $8.1 billion globally last year — it has idled three plants in the United States as car sales slide and overall demand for vehicles weakens.
The strike is unfolding as President Trump’s trade war with China wears on manufacturers and has stirred fears of a slowdown.
It could disrupt local economies in factory towns in several swing states like Michigan and Ohio, where President Trump has promised to increase manufacturing jobs. But any impact on the broader economy will depend on how long it lasts.
The auto industry, even if it is far from its employment heights in the 1970s, remains crucial to the economy, counting some 220,000 people who work to manufacture cars. According to the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers, the broader vehicle industry supports 9.9 million jobs and historically accounts for about 3 percent of gross domestic product.
Even as the unionized share of the nation’s work force continues to fall, down from a peak of one-third in the 1950s, labor has become more assertive in recent years.
The number of people who participated in work stoppages involving over 1,000 workers rose last year to its highest level since the 1980s, buoyed by teacher walkouts and a multicity hotel workers strike.
Polling data shows that the public has become increasingly supportive of organized labor. A Gallup poll in late August found that 64 percent of Americans approve of unions, up from below 50 percent a decade ago.
Even so, some have been critical of the labor movement’s ability to capitalize on these trends, and of the U.A.W.’s failures in particular. In June, the union narrowly lost a vote to organize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.
And the talks between G.M. and the union have been shadowed by a federal corruption inquiry that has been looking into U.A.W. officials and at least two Fiat Chrysler company executives. The investigation has detailed the use of union funds for lavish travel and personal spending by senior U.A.W. officials, including the president, Gary Jones.
In a statement, G.M. said it had offered to make more than $7 billion in new investments in plants in the United States, add 5,400 jobs and increase pay and benefits.
“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways, and it is disappointing that the U.A.W. leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight,” the company said on Sunday. “We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”
[Watch the “Weekly”: G.M.’s chief executive talks about the future of the automaker, arguing it needs to be more like a tech company.]
It is a challenging time for the industry over all, with auto sales slowing in the United States, China and other major markets, and new technologies such as electric cars and self-driving vehicles requiring billions of dollars in investments.
Mary Barra, G.M.’s chief executive, speaks while the president of the United Automobile Workers, Gary Jones, right, looks on before the contract talks began in July.CreditBill Pugliano/Getty Images
“Carmakers’ profits today distract from two challenges,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor who follows the auto industry. “The makers will be going into a down cycle of demand in their two most important markets and they will have to make the biggest technology investments in their history to change to electric propulsion.”
One of the union’s aims is getting G.M. to reopen an idled car factory in Lordstown, Ohio, a goal that President Trump has endorsed. The plant had made the Chevrolet Cruze, a compact car whose sales plunged nearly 40 percent between 2015, when the previous labor contract was signed, and 2018. The factory ceased production in March.
A person with knowledge of the talks said G.M. was reluctant to reopen the Lordstown plant, but it was willing to discuss building a new battery factory in that area of Ohio as it shifts to electric vehicles.
G.M. has also expressed willingness to keep open a car plant in Detroit that had been targeted for closure, this person said.
The strike will immediately halt production in the United States, and a prolonged stoppage could affect G.M.’s Canadian and Mexican operations, crimping its bottom line and the fortunes of thousands of its parts suppliers.
G.M. operates 12 vehicle assembly factories in the United States and 22 parts plants. Workers at 12 parts distribution centers and two engineering locations are also represented by the U.A.W. Just under half of G.M.’s unionized locations are in Michigan. The rest are in six other states: Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and New York.
The company has enough inventory on dealer lots to last 77 days at the current rate of sales, according to Cox Automotive.
A long shutdown could prove painful for union members, who would have to get by on strike pay of $250 a week while out of work. Any hit to G.M.’s North American profits would also lower the annual profit-sharing checks union members receive each March. Those checks have averaged $11,000 over the last three years.
“Workers will feel it immediately because if they move to strike pay, that’s miserable,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president for industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The union may also be wary of depleting its strike fund. It is delaying talks with Ford and Fiat Chrysler while focusing on G.M., a standard practice in the every-four-year talks between the U.A.W. and the Detroit automakers.
The auto industry has been transformed over the last 30 years as foreign automakers have built their own nonunion factories in the United States employing tens of thousands, and taken market share from Detroit’s Big Three.
The U.A.W. did not resort to nationwide strikes against G.M. when it negotiated contracts in 2011 and 2015. Its members — it had 73,000 at G.M. at the time — walked out of General Motors plants for three days in 2007 before a deal was reached, as a recession loomed. The company lost $23 million in 2007.
G.M. has bounced back after its 2009 bankruptcy and government bailout and now employs 49,000 full-time and temporary U.A.W. members. G.M. has a smaller U.A.W. work force than its Detroit rivals because larger portions of the vehicles it makes in North America are assembled in Mexico and Canada.
While the prospect of a strike has temporarily taken the spotlight off the union’s legal troubles, the scandal has made members suspicious of the U.A.W. leadership, said Paul Wohlfarth, a retired U.A.W. member from Toledo who is still active in the union.
“It seemed like a few bad apples at first, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s a whole bushel.”
Since 2017, nine people have been charged in connection with a variety of schemes in which union money was allegedly used for extravagant personal spending. In one case, Fiat Chrysler’s top labor executive bought a Ferrari sports car and renovated his home using funds earmarked for a training center run by the union and the automaker.
Late last month, federal agents raided Mr. Jones’s home in Canton, Mich.; a Hazelwood, Mo., regional office that Mr. Jones previously headed; the union’s Black Lake retreat in Onaway, Mich.; and the Corona, Calif., home of Mr. Jones’s predecessor, Dennis Williams.
On Thursday, Vance Pearson, a senior union official who worked closely with Mr. Jones, was charged with embezzlement, money laundering, wire fraud, conspiracy and other offenses. The prosecutor’s complaint said Mr. Pearson and other senior U.A.W. officials spent union funds on luxury villas in Palm Springs, Calif., golf clubs, clothing, expensive champagne, liquors and cigars.
Mr. Pearson took part in union meetings and the strike vote on Sunday, a union spokesman confirmed.