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Archive for the ‘Union’ Category

Feds Charge Former FCA Exec in Labor Scandal

Seven people have faced indictments in ongoing probe.

by on Apr.06, 2018

Michael Brown is the latest person to be charged in a federal probe of FCA and the UAW. (Photo credit: UAW-Chrysler)

The U.S Department of Justice is bringing charges against a third Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. official as part of the expanding corruption probe into the illegal use of funds set aside under FCA’s labor contract with the United Auto Workers for training union members.

Michael Brown, former director of employee relations at Fiat Chrysler, was charged with lying to a federal grand jury about an alleged bribery scheme involving his direct superior, Alphonse Iacobelli and others at FCA. The scheme netted Iacobelli and others participating in the scheme more than $4.5 million, according to the DOJ.

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Federal prosecutors allege Brown knew that FCA officials were bribing UAW leaders, but “deliberately” provided “misleading and incomplete testimony.” Not only did he know that this was going on, prosecutors allege, but he failed to notify authorities about the corruption, according to the DOJ. (more…)

Tesla Hit With NLRB Complaint Over Mass Firings

Feds probe controversial firing of nearly 1,000 employees.

by on Apr.05, 2018

Tesla's Fremont plant has faced a series of problems over the last year.

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a formal complaint against Tesla, finding merit to a series of charges involving the company’s treatment of employees over the past months, including claims that union supporters were swept out in a mass firing.

Charges, cited by the NLRB, range from terminating employees in retaliation for engaging in union and/or protected activities to unlawful interrogations of union supporters. Many of the pro-union employees were fired last fall when Tesla dismissed nearly 1,000 employees for what it described as substandard job performance.

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Tesla has yet to file an answer to the complaint lodged by the NLRB but denied the allegations when the union fielded the charges last autumn. It will have to come up with a response before a trial date now set for June 11.

(more…)

Court Cases Expose UAW to More Charges by Employees

Appeals court gives employees' claims new life.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The fallout from the UAW-FCA training fund scandal continues as an appeals court ruled in favor of workers.

An appeals court ruled in favor workers suing the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. in a case tied to the ongoing investigation of misuse of training funds by FCA and UAW officials.

The suit was brought by a group of former temporary part time (TPT) workers at the Jeep manufacturing complex in Toledo, Ohio, who have asserted that they were denied seniority and other rights in a agreement between FCA’s management and the UAW’s FCA Department, which administers the union’s end of its labor contract with the automaker.

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The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals did not grant the workers petition for a promotion and back pay; however, it did open the door for an appeal to the union’s internal review. (more…)

UAW Enjoys Membership Increase in 2017

Union keeps adding new members to rolls.

by on Mar.30, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams noted that despite some problems with its membership drive, the union saw an increase last year.

Despite a devastating scandal, adverse political environment and big defeats in key organizing drives in the auto industry, the United Auto Workers succeeded in adding nearly 15,000 new members in 2017.

The UAW reported the figure in its Labor Organization Annual Report, Form LM-2, which was filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. The report shows UAW membership at 430,871 in 2017, compared to 415,963 in 2016. This marks the ninth straight year of membership growth, the union said.

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UAW membership climbed as a result of organizing drives in gaming, higher education, heavy truck and automotive suppliers as well as some more modest growth in auto assembly. (more…)

Showdown in South Korea: GM Warns of Bankruptcy

Union concessions demanded by April 20.

by on Mar.27, 2018

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

Union workers at General Motors’ money-losing South Korean operations have barely three weeks to come up with a package of concessions or the automaker says it will plunge the entire unit into bankruptcy, a move that could lead to its pulling out of the market.

The announcement by GM follows its decision in February to close one of its four assembly plants in the country and examine whether it could keep the other facilities open. Along with the union concessions, GM is demanding new support from the South Korean government.

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The Detroit automaker is “using threats to ramp up pressure on the union to make concessions,” a government official told Reuters. The news service also cited a document indicating GM is trying to lock down $600 million in operating funds by the end of April to keep the South Korean operations going. (more…)

Feds Secure New Indictment in FCA-UAW Scandal

New entry is sixth person caught up in scandal.

by on Mar.23, 2018

A sixth person was indicted by federal investigators looking into a misuse of UAW training funds.

A former senior United Auto Workers, Nancy Johnson, has become the sixth person accused of taking part in a conspiracy in which both union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. officials misused millions of dollars of training funds under the joint control of company and UAW representatives.

Johnson, 57, a former assistant director of FCA Department and a top aide to former UAW vice presidents Norwood Jewell and General Holiefield, was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with taking part in a conspiracy in which she and other senior UAW officials accepted a stream of concealed payments and things of value from FCA executives in the months leading up to the 2015 collective bargaining negotiations.

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Between 2014 and 2016, Johnson held the second-most senior position in the UAW Chrysler Department. She also served as a member of the UAW National Committee that negotiated with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles during the 2015 collective bargaining sessions, according to the announcement by the DOJ. (more…)

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…)