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Archive for the ‘Union’ Category

Feds Charge Fifth Person in UAW-FCA Training Funds Scandal

Holiefield's assistant latest to be charged by investigators.

by on Mar.14, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams continues to deny that members charged in the FCA-UAW fund scandal impacted negotiations.

The drip, drip, drip of charges in the scandal surrounding the training funds at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. administered jointly by FCA and the United Auto Workers continues as federal prosecutors disclosed they filed charges against another former UAW official.

Keith Mickens, 64, of Detroit, a former senior official in the UAW’s FCA Department, became the fifth person, including two from the UAW and two from FCA, charged in a corruption scandal that has led to four convictions.

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Mickens was charged with using credit cards linked to the joint training fund to purchase luggage, electronics, designer clothes and golf equipment in a criminal investigation, which means a guilty plea is expected. (more…)

VEBA Stock Sale May Cost UAW Seat on GM’s Board

If union sells 40 million shares, it falls below threshold for board seat.

by on Feb.28, 2018

Former UAW VPsJoe Ashton resigned from the GM's Board after investigators questioned him about the FCA/UAW training funds scam.

General Motors Co. announced the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, aka the VEBA Trust, intends sell 40 million shares, or about 29% of the trust, of GM common stock in an underwritten secondary offering.

The VEBA will receive all of the proceeds from this offering, which could raise as much as $1.6 billion. No shares are being sold by GM; however, the automaker plans to buy $100 million worth of the available shares. With a stock price hovering just above $40 a share that equates to about 2.5 million shares.

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But the sale, which is covered by rules set down following GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, could end the union’s presence on the company’s board of directors. The union must retain 50% of the shares it received as part of the bankruptcy plan. (more…)

Mercedes Moving to Build New Plant in Germany

New plant comes as competitor expands in U.S.

by on Feb.21, 2018

Markus Schäfer, Mercedes board member, marks the groundbreaking of the company's new plant in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz Cars broke ground on a new factory on its home ground in Sindelfingen outside of Stuttgart that the automaker claims will be the most modern production center in the world when it opens in 2020.

“Our ‘Factory 56’ will define a new way of building cars. With its ‘Factory 56’, Mercedes-Benz Cars is creating the car plant of the future,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.

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“It combines three trend-setting features: It is consistently digital and flexible – and it brings the term ‘green production’ to life. As the inventor of the car, we are reinventing production.” (more…)

GM’s Proposed $2.8B Investment Could Head Off Showdown or Shutdown in South Korea

Automaker looking at two new models; but union warning of strike.

by on Feb.21, 2018

GM is looking to shut down its underutilized Gunsan plant in South Korea.

General Motors is offering to add two new models to its South Korean line-up as part of a $2.8-billion, 10-year investment plan that could forestall a clash with the government and its union workers.

A week ago, GM announced plans to close its underutilized Gunsan plant, one of four assembly lines in Korea, and it strongly hinted that it was considering pulling out of the country entirely if it couldn’t reverse deep, ongoing losses.

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In return, the Detroit automaker is seeking financial assistance from the South Korean government and is expected to also seek some aid from its traditionally militant unions. But, in turn, workers are warning that if GM doesn’t move quickly to assure a future for those plants they could strike. (more…)

UAW Scores Victory in Tech Industry

New deal gives union momentum for Tesla organizing efforts.

by on Feb.20, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams touted the new deal with Bon Appetit in California, hoping to gain favor with workers at Tesla.

The United Auto Workers scored a small victory in its fight to recruit new members in the San Francisco Bay Area as continues to prepare for a battle with one of the region’s iconic companies, Tesla.

Earlier this month, nearly 150 Bon Appétit Management Company food service employees working at Airbnb Inc. ratified a first-time union contract with the UAW. The agreement covers food service employees working at four Airbnb locations in headquarters in San Francisco, as well as three other Airbnb sites in California and Oregon.

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“The contract raises the bar for working people up and down the West Coast,” said Gary Jones, the Western Regional Director for the UAW, who has been tapped to become the union’s next president at the UAW’s constitutional convention in June.  (more…)

GM Plans Month-Long Shutdown at Flint Truck Plant

Plans are two weeks longer than usual.

by on Feb.19, 2018

GM is going to be laying off employees at its plant in Flint, Michigan, for two weeks after the company's traditional two-week shutdown.

General Motors told employees it plans to close down the company’s big truck assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, for the month of July.

The company said in a memo circulated to employees of the truck assembly plant that the plant will be closed for a “mandatory” two-summer vacation shutdown starting in early July. The two-week vacation shutdown will be followed by a two-week layoff for most of the employees at the plant, according to the memo, which was posted to a union website.

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The memo said some employees will be required to work during the temporary shutdown as the plant will be undergoing a series of improvements to the plant, which a key center for production of GM’s Chevrolet and GMC heavy-duty pick-up trucks. (more…)

Union Group Claims Racist Activities Increasing in Auto Plants

Reports of hanging nooses, harassment on the uptick.

by on Feb.16, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams said that the union is trying to eliminate racism and sexual harassment in plants.

Union activists have detailed a recent series of racial slurs and taunts in plants belonging to car makers and suppliers.

The report follows recent complaints by the EEOC detailing a climate of sexual harassment at Ford Motor Co. plant in Chicago that prompted warnings such behavior would not be tolerated from the company’s top executives, including CEO Jim Hackett, who visited the plant to re-inforce the message.

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United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams also said the union, which represents more than 415,000 employees at work sites across the country, harassment should not and would not be tolerated. (more…)

GM Shutting One Korean Plant, Considering Fate of Others

Government open to aid offer – but demands investment guarantees.

by on Feb.13, 2018

The Gunsan plant has produced several GM models, including the Chevy Orlando shown here.

Facing rising costs and declining sales, General Motors today said it will close one of four factories in South Korea and, as part of an ongoing restructuring program, the automaker is weighing the fate of the remaining three facilities.

South Korean government officials expressed “deep regret” at the news. The country’s trade minister left open the possibility of financial aid but cautioned that any assistance will depend on whether GM plans to invest in its operations in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. But it appears all sides are playing a game of brinksmanship, the U.S. automaker waiting to see what stakeholders, including its unions, might be willing to offer.

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“As we are at a critical juncture of needing to make product allocation decisions, the ongoing discussions must demonstrate significant progress by the end of February, when GM will make important decisions on next steps,” Barry Engle, GM executive vice president and president of GM International, said in a statement.


Demolition Teams Ready to Roll at GM’s Old Janesville Plant

New company looking to redevelop old plant.

by on Feb.13, 2018

GM's former plant in Janesville, Wisconsin appears to be on the verge of demolition and redevelopment.

A St. Louis-based development company is moving ahead with plans for the demolition of General Motors’ old assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, which was once of the most profitable factories in GM vast manufacturing portfolio.

The plant was still turning out full-sized Chevrolet sport utility vehicles when it closed for good in the middle of the bitter recession amid the financial crisis that forced GM to file for bankruptcy.

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The 4.8 million square-foot plant, which sits on 300 acres near the center of Janesville was sold in December 2017 to Commercial Development of St. Louis, Missouri. Commercial Development told local officials that it plans to re-develop the property. (more…)

Holiefield’s Widow Pleads Guilty in UAW-FCA Scandal

Monica Morgan faces up to 27 months in jail.

by on Feb.07, 2018

Monica Morgan, the widow of former UAW VP General Holiefield, pleaded guilty to multiple counts in the FCA-UAW scandal.

The widow of a key union official responsible for labor negotiations with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has pled guilty in federal court in Detroit to one count of filing a filing a false tax return.

Monica Morgan, the wife of former UAW vice president General Holiefield, who died in March 2015, now faces a maximum of 27 months in prison and a $100,000 fine and the forfeiture of $190,000 for failing to report more than $201,000 in income on 2011 taxes and knowingly filing a false return.

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Morgan answered “yes” when Judge Paul Borman asked her if know the tax return was false. (more…)