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Wait – Did Someone Set the UAW on Fire?

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Mary Barra GM UAW
Source: General Motors

In case you missed it, the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America’s main offices caught fire in July. It’s not completely unheard of for office buildings to catch on fire, and an investigator for the Detroit Fire Department told Automotive News soon after the blaze that arson wasn’t the cause. New information has come to light, however, that might bring malicious intent back to the table.

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Back in July, Lieutenant Ted Copley reported to the media site that his agency had ruled out arson and that the UAW’s insurance provider would send a private investigator to finish determining the cause of the fire. Earlier this month, Copley reached out to Automotive News to say that “The fire could have been accidental or incendiary,” and his previous statement wasn’t a “final verdict.”

Walking back a months-old statement looks suspicious. Jalopnik points out that it’s especially so considering that the UAW is in the midst of a huge corruption scandal that has cost it a president and led to General Motors suing FCA. It seems a bit convenient that a fire would start in its IT department during the investigation, potentially corrupting files.

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The FBI’s investigation into UAW corruption is ongoing, but the Detroit Fire Department continues to be the main investigators into the fire at UAW headquarters. It seems as if it has passed on information about damaged equipment to the insurance company, but no test results about what sparked the flame in the first place.

We like to think the best of people, but we’ll be interested in learning if there was something important enough to hide that the only answer was to melt computers.