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More UAW, FCA Officials Sentenced in Bribery Scandal

Borman declared no leniency for defendants.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.07, 2018

The UAW long tried to maintain a squeaky clean reputation, but the scandal has sorely tarnished its image.

Two former Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. officials and one former leader of the United Auto Workers have been sentenced to prison terms, ranging from 12 months to 15 months, for their part in a conspiracy to violate federal labor law.

The sentences imposed on FCA’s Michael Brown and Jerome Durden as well as the UAW’s Keith Mickens come more than two years after the federal government announced indictments triggered by a scheme in which FCA officials used subterfuge to bribe union officials in a bid to secure labor peace.

Breaking News!

Former FCA Vice President Alphons Iacobelli, a central figure in the case, was sentenced to five and a half years in a federal prison, while Monica Morgan, the widow of former UAW VP General Holiefield, one of the central figures in the scheme, was sentenced to 18 months prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to federal tax charges.

(more…)

Proposed Class-Action Suit Against FCA, UAW Dismissed

Judge says plaintiffs haven't exhausted contractual remedies yet.

by Joseph Szczesny on Aug.30, 2018

Former UAW President Dennis Williams maintained that the collective bargaining process between the UAW and FCA wasn't tainted.

A U.S. District Court has dismissed a proposed class action by autoworkers against car maker Fiat Chrysler and the United Automobile Workers that claimed the company and union colluded to sacrifice workers’ interests during collective bargaining.

The judge, following a long line of precedents, ruled that the workers who brought the suit have not exhausted contractual remedies and internal procedures to address their grievances against the company and the union.

Breaking News!

The lawsuit, filed by three UAW members, claims the union’s FCA contract was skewed in the automaker’s favor by the corruption of two top negotiators and alleges millions of dollars in dues collected from union members were “wasted on tainted bargaining.” (more…)

Former FCA Executive Gets 5.5 Years in Prison

Conviction comes after intense federal investigation.

by Michael Strong on Aug.27, 2018

Alphons Iacobelli, right, was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison for his role in the FCA-UAW training fund scandal.

A former senior executive from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., Alphons Iacobelli, was sentenced to five and half years in prison for his role in a bribery scheme aimed at influencing decisions by the United Automobile Workers union.

Federal investigators found that Iacobelli, who headed FCA’s labor relations staff until 2015, and others stole money from the joint FCA-UAW National Training Center for their personal benefit and lavish items, such as a used Ferrari and $35,000 Mont Blanc pens.

News Now!

The money was also used for travel, home improvements and to pay the mortgage of General Holiefield, a former UAW vice president, who headed the union’s Chrysler Department from 2006 to 2014 when the scandal was in full flower.  (more…)

Daimler Truck Inks 6-Year Deal with UAW Workers

New deal includes raises and lump-sum payments.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jul.30, 2018

Daimler Trucks North America reached a new six-year deal with its 6,000 hourly workers in the U.S.

Daimler AG and the United Auto Workers confirmed workers have approved a new six-year labor contract that covers more than 6,000 employees in the United States.

“Daimler Trucks North America is very pleased that UAW members at six of our U.S. manufacturing and distribution locations have voted to ratify new collective bargaining agreements,” Daimler AG said in a statement.

Union News!

“The agreements represent the continuation of a long and fruitful relationship between the UAW and DTNA, and we are proud to renew our partnership with them for another six years.” (more…)

Feds Get Another UAW Official to Plead Guilty in Query

Investigators nab former Holiefield assistant.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jul.24, 2018

Nancy Adams Johnson, right, is the highest ranking UAW official to plead guilty in the ongoing investigation into the theft of UAW-FCA training funds.

The highest-ranking United Auto Workers official implicated in a federal corruption investigation into the misuse of funds for a joint UAW-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles initiative pleaded guilty to felony.

Nancy Adams Johnson, a former top official in the UAW’s FCA Department, pleaded guilty to violating federal statutes prohibiting union officials from receiving cash or other emoluments from any employer. Adams Johnson also agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors looking into the misuse of training funds, but still could face up to 18 months in prison.

Insight!

While unelected, Adams Johnson’s appointment as the top assistant first to the late UAW Vice President General Holiefield and later UAW Vice President Norwood Jewel makes her the highest ranked UAW official implicated. She was also a member of the joint training center’s board of directors. (more…)

Holiefield’s Widow Gets 18 Months in Jail in FCA Scandal

Morgan also paying 100K in restitution.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jul.16, 2018

Monica Morgan, the widow of former UAW VP General Holiefield, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for her role in the FCA-UAW scandal.

The widow of a former top United Auto Workers official was sentenced to 18 months in jail for tax evasion uncovered during a federal investigation of the illicit diversion from training funds set up jointly by the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Monica Morgan, 55, the widow of General Holiefield, the late UAW Vice President, who was at the center of the training-center scandal, was handed the jail time by a federal judge in Detroit.

News Now!

Holiefield headed the UAW’s Chrysler Department from 2006 until his retirement in 2014 and has been described by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne as critical to the company’s comeback. Holiefield died in 2015. (more…)

UAW President Jones Shakes Up Roles of Top Negotiators

Estrada moved from GM to FCA.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jun.15, 2018

UAW former GM VP Cindy Estrada was part of an investigation by federal officials about the potential misuse of union funds. She now heads up FCA.

In one of his first moves, Gary Jones, the newly elected United Auto Workers president, tapped three new vice presidents to handle day-to-day relations and negotiations with Detroit three auto workers, and the choices included a few surprises.

Jones shifted Cindy Estrada from the General Motors Department, the first woman to head what has been long regarded the union’s flagship department, to lead negotiations at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. Department.

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Jones said he selected Estrada for Fiat Chrysler because the work force is younger and more technically savvy then their counterparts at GM and Ford, which have not hired as many new employees as FCA.  (more…)

New UAW Chief Takes Office With Full War Chest

Officers get 31% raise after rank-and-file gets dues hike.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jun.15, 2018

Newly elected UAW President Gary Jones acknowledges the crowd at the union's quadrennial meeting.

The United Auto Workers installed a new president this week as Gary Jones replaced Dennis Williams in the corner office at union headquarters in Solidarity House in Detroit.

During its quadrennial Constitutional Convention, the union also installed a new Secretary Treasurer, Ray Curry, and one new vice president Rory Gamble.

Union News!

Jones had been part of the UAW’s financial staff at union headquarters during for several years before returning to his home region in the western United States to serve two terms as a regional director and as a member of the union’s executive board before becoming the candidate of the union’s administration caucus, which controls all of the levers of power inside the union. (more…)

Feds Get Guilty Plea in FCA-UAW Training Center Scandal

Brown is third exec to plead guilty.

by Joseph Szczesny on May.29, 2018

Former FCA executive Michael Brown is the third FCA executive to plead guilty in the FCA-UAW scandal. (Photo credit: UAW-Chrysler)

Another Fiat Chrysler executive pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the ongoing federal investigation of FCA leaders bribing key United Auto Workers officials to make it easier to gain their cooperation on labor-related issues in which the UAW had a voice.

Michael Brown, the third FCA official charged by the U.S. Depart of Justice, pleaded guilty to misprision of felony because he admitted to providing misleading and incomplete information to a federal grand jury when he asked specific questions of a conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act.

Stay in the Loop!

Brown, 60, a former senior executive on FCA’s labor relations staff and co-director of joint FCA-UAW training center, was accused lying to cover up a conspiracy in which FCA executives making illegal payments to UAW officers and staff members. (more…)

UAW’s Williams Supports Trump’s Tariff Proposal

No plans yet for calling an organizing vote at Tesla.

by Joseph Szczesny on May.24, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams said the union favors President Trump's plan for a 25% tariff on foreign cars.

Despite some major political differences, the United Auto Workers union is fully prepared to support President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies.

Dennis Williams, president of the United Auto Workers, said, “I have said that as long as when he is working in the best interest of working men and women then we will support him. I think it’s time to look at this.”

Union News!

Williams comment came on the heels of a Presidential tweet that said autoworkers would like what was coming and promptly threatened to levy a 25% tariff on imported vehicles and started an investigation on whether importing vehicles threatened national security. (more…)