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Auto Industry Unites to Challenge Trump Tariffs

UAW lone dissenter, seeks targeted tariffs.

by on Jul.19, 2018

Representatives from six auto groups testified at a U.S. Department of Commerce public hearing against new tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump.

With one exception – the UAW – the automotive industry is prepared to take a united stand against tariffs as the U.S. Department of Commerce holds a one-day public hearing on a Trump administration proposal to levy 25% tariffs on imported automobiles in the name of national security.

Seven associations representing almost 10 million jobs across the auto sector in the U.S. have joined together to urge the White House to not impose higher tariffs on imported autos and auto parts.

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“Raising tariffs on autos and auto parts would be a massive tax on consumers who buy or service their vehicles – whether imported or domestically produced. These higher costs will inevitably lead to declining sales and the loss of American jobs, as well as an increase in vehicle service and repair costs that may result in consumers delaying critical vehicle maintenance,” said the groups in an open letter to President Donald Trump. (more…)

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

Morgan also paying 100K in restitution.

by 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.

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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…)

Fiat Auto Union Protests Signing of Ronaldo

Fiat, Juventus owned by same company — that can't pay raises to union.

by on Jul.13, 2018

Unione Sindicale di Base, the union representing workers at the Fiat plant in Melf, Italy, are protesting the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.

(This story has been updated.)

The World Cup will be decided this weekend but Italian auto workers are threatening to go on strike at a Fiat plant in Southern Italy over the Agnelli family’s decision to pay the equivalent $117 million for the services one of soccer’s superstars.

The Italian club, Juventus, which is owned by Exor, the Agnelli family’s holding company which also owns Fiat, signed Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo to a contract, stealing him away from Real Madrid, the high-profile club for which he played for the past nine seasons.

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Exor own 29.1% of Fiat’s shares and 64% of Juventus, which like other major European football franchises has exploded in value during the past decade and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne also serves on Exor’s board. (more…)

Hyundai Union Warns Tariffs Could Cause US Plant Closure

South Korean union contract calls for closure of foreign plants first.

by on Jul.13, 2018

Hyundai's plant in Montgomery, Alabama, could be impacted severely by a 25% tariff on imported vehicles by the Trump administration.

Up until now, China, Mexico, Canada and Germany have all been at the heart of unfolding controversy about trade and tariffs.

But a new report also suggests that tariffs could destabilize manufacturing base that the South Korean auto giant, Hyundai, has developed in Alabama.

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The South Korean labor union at Hyundai Motors has warned that the 25% tariff on autos being imported into the United States being considered by the Trump administration could jeopardize as many as 20,000 jobs in Alabama.  (more…)

UAW Blasts GM’s Plan to Build Chevy Blazer in Mexico

Union notes that second shift at Lordstown plant was just cut.

by on Jun.25, 2018

The new Chevy Blazer will hit showrooms early next year and will be built in Mexico.

The United Auto Workers wasted no time attacking General Motors’ plans to build the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico.

GM’s confirmation the new Blazer would be built in Mexico came just as blue-collar workers assigned to the second shift at the automaker’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio were completing their last day of work before being idled by the company’s decision to reduce production of the Chevrolet Cruze.

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“This news that the iconic Blazer nameplate will be built in Mexico is disappointing to UAW families and communities across this country,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, who is now in charge of the union’s GM Department. Dittes took over the GM Department following the union’s constitutional convention earlier this month. (more…)

UAW President Jones Shakes Up Roles of Top Negotiators

Estrada moved from GM to FCA.

by 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 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.

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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…)

UAW, FCA Head to Court to Retrieve Stolen Funds

Union pledges safeguards in place to prevent future problems.

by on Jun.12, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams told members that new safeguards will prevent future attempts to steal from training funds.

The scandal-ridden UAW-Chrysler National Training Center has filed a civil lawsuit against a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. executive and the widow of United Auto Workers leader in a bid to claw back millions of dollars they embezzled from the NTC during the years.

Dennis Williams, the UAW outgoing president, also took aim at the theft of the joint funds during a speech on the opening day of the unions Constitution Convention.

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“To be clear: those who misallocated or misused training center funds betrayed our trust,” the retiring president told the 1,100 delegates gathered in Detroit “The UAW has zero tolerance for corruption, wrongdoing, at any level of this organization.” (more…)

UAW Overlooks Schrade’s Role in Union, US History

Union fails to recognize impact of former RFK adviser.

by on Jun.05, 2018

Former adviser to Robert Kennedy and UAW organizer Paul Schrade, who's impact on the union seems to have been overlooked.

When John F. Kennedy first approached Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers at the 1956 Democratic Party Convention, hoping to win his support for the Vice Presidency, Paul Schrade, as one of UAW President’s top aides, observed the meeting.

However, the vital role of Schrade, who is now 93 and still an activist, in UAW history has been largely overlooked by union during past four decades as the UAW has struggled to maintain its influence both at the bargaining table and in politics.

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But Reuther, who had an eye for talent, according to historian and biographer Nelson Lichtenstein, had recruited Schrade to serve on his staff because the “bright young radical” union activist had already made his mark among UAW’s local officers in Southern California’s booming aerospace industry. (more…)

Feds Get Guilty Plea in FCA-UAW Training Center Scandal

Brown is third exec to plead guilty.

by 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.

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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…)