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Detroit — United Auto Workers President Gary Jones on Wednesday addressed a continuing criminal federal investigation into a wide-ranging labor conspiracy.

As Jones promises to fight for his members at the bargaining table this summer, he also says he is focusing on an effort to reform the organization.

"I am deeply saddened and irritated that some leaders in this union and some leaders at the auto companies exploited their positions to benefit themselves," Jones said during a brief appearance Wednesday before the press following the union's Special Bargaining Convention. "It is my responsibility from this day forward to strengthen your trust in your union."

Jones left the stage after his three-minute statement and did not take questions. His spokesperson, Brian Rothenberg, said Jones wants to be a "reform president."

The bullet points about reform distributed Wednesday, called "The UAW's Clean Slate," largely replicate those presented by previous UAW President Dennis Williams in 2017.

Still "to come" are a vague promise of "more reforms and new policies" to be announced "in the near term," and the promise of an upcoming Presidential Report on the progress of the "Clean Slate Agenda."

Jones first addressed the federal investigation, which has resulted in seven convictions, after he was elected in June. He has largely echoed that statements of his predecessor, acknowledging that the UAW is cooperating with the investigation and saying that "specific individuals, not institutions like the UAW" are to blame.

nnaughton@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @NoraNaughton

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