The UAW’s International Executive Board has filed Article 30 charges to potentially remove from office Region 2B Director Richard Rankin after the union said an independent investigation substantiated claims of workplace harassment.
If found guilty in a trial and removed, Rankin would be the third executive board member to leave the union in less than five months. The union last November filed Article 30 charges against ex-President Gary Jones and ex-Region 5 Director Vance Pearson as part of a federal corruption investigation, but both men resigned from the union before a trial could be held.
The Wall Street Journal this month reported two female staffers alleged Rankin made repeated sexually charged remarks that in one instance escalated to a physical threat. The Journal said the UAW hired Washington, D.C., law firm Bredhoff & Kaiser to investigate claims beginning in January after a group of UAW-represented nurses filed a separate formal grievance involving Rankin to the union’s board.
Rankin told the Journal via email that he supported and “fully cooperated with the investigation into this matter and with the investigation process.”
The union this month confirmed it had hired an outside firm to look into Region 2B but did not confirm Rankin was the target.
“The UAW takes claims of sexual harassment and discrimination very seriously,” spokesman Brian Rothenberg said in a statement then. “We strongly believe in fostering a workplace that is free from intimidation, retaliation and harassment of any kind.”
Article 30 of the UAW constitution allows charges to be filed with the signatures of either five executive board members or a number of local union leaders.
A 12-person trial committee panel soon will be selected for a trial. Following its conclusion, if Rankin is found guilty by a two-thirds vote of the panel, he could be expelled from the union.