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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…)

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…)

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…)

UAW Disputes Iacobelli’s Chrysler Stock Sale Claim

Former FCA VP claims to have scripted UAW leader's response to stock sale.

by on Jan.30, 2018

General Holiefield, left, UAW vice president, and Alphons Iacobelli, right, former FCA union negotiator.

The United Auto Workers has flatly rejected the claims by a former Fiat Chrysler Automobile executive, who has plead guilty federal felony charges, that he influenced a critical decision about FCA’s restructuring.

As part of the plea agreement, Alphons Iacobelli, former FCA vice president of labor relations had to admit to his crimes, including the making illicit payments to officials of the United Auto Workers to influence union negotiations.

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UAW President Dennis Williams flatly denied the illicit payments to the late General Holiefield, the former head of the union’s Chrysler Department, and union’s top negotiator with FCA, had any influence on the 2011 contract negotiations, which were restrained by a “no-strike” clause that was imposed as part of the government bailout of the automaker. (more…)

Former FCA Executive Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

Iacobelli takes plea deal; likely to serve 96 months.

by on Jan.23, 2018

FCA's former top negotiator, Alfonse Iacobelli, right, pleaded guilty in the federal investigation of corruption at FCA and the UAW.

One of the key figures in the corruption charges that have damaged the United Auto Workers and raised questions about the management of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

Alphonse Iacobelli, Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles labor relations chief, pleaded guilty to two charges related to a conspiracy to siphon millions from an employee training fund operated jointly by the company and the union. Sentencing was delayed to May 29, but Iacobelli could face up to 96 months in prison, according to the plea deal with federal prosecutors.

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Iacobelli pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and for subscribing a false tax return before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman in Detroit. (more…)

UAW Protesting Against Fiat Chrysler at NAIAS 2018

Union plans to picket on Sunday over lost Toledo jobs.

by on Jan.18, 2018

The UAW is planning to protest against Fiat Chrysler in front of Cobo Center in Detroit.

Members of the United Auto Workers from the Jeep Local, UAW Local 12, are planning a demonstration at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Sunday.

The protest targets Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. for its plans to eliminate jobs at a transportation unit in the Jeep manufacturing complex where FCA is preparing to launch a new version of one of Jeep’s signature products — the new Wrangler.

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“They never talked to us,” said Bruce Baumhower, president of UAW Local 12, which kicked off the campaign to halt the FCA’s plans to eliminate the jobs earlier this week with a demonstration at the Toledo complex. (more…)

UAW Keeps an Eye on GM Board Seat

Union not giving up spot its coveted for 40 years.

by on Dec.21, 2017

UAW President Dennis Williams told the media that the union will be looking to reclaim its seat on GM's board of directors.

The United Auto Workers plans to reclaim a seat on the General Motors Board of Directors, according to UAW President Dennis Williams.

At UAW headquarters in Detroit, Williams told reporters this week that the union’s executive board will meet early next year.

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Williams also said he plans to take up filling the seat with Voluntary Employees Benefit Association, the multibillion dollar trust fund that pays for the health care insurance of blue-collar workers, who retired from GM before the 2008-09 recession. (more…)

UAW President Rips Ford on EV Production Move

Outgoing labor chief chastises Trump for NAFTA effort.

by on Dec.20, 2017

UAW President Dennis Williams criticized Ford Motor Co. for moving EV production from the U.S. to Mexico.

The United Auto Workers has made it plain that it objects the Ford Motor Co.’s decision to place production of electric vehicles: Mexico.

“I’m not happy with Ford,” UAW President Dennis Williams told reporters today during a meeting at the union’s headquarters in Detroit. “I think we’re missing a huge opportunity in this country.”

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Earlier this month, Ford announced plans to move EV production from a suburban Detroit factory to its plant in Cuautitlán, Mexico, starting in 2020. That will make room at the Flat Rock, Michigan, facility for the fully driverless vehicles Ford is currently developing. (more…)

Former Union Leader Ashton Quits GM Board

Resignation comes at investigators scrutinize UAW funds.

by on Dec.15, 2017

Former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton resigned from the General Motors' Board of Directors as federal investigators.

General Motors Co. announced Joseph Ashton, a former United Auto Workers vice president who led the union’s GM department, resigned from the company’s board effectively immediately.

Ashton was nominated to the GM board by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits trust, which administers funds that pay for health benefits for UAW-GM retirees and holds a large block of General Motors stock.

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The trust received the stock has part of the restructuring of GM supervised by the federal government after the company was forced into bankruptcy in 2009. (more…)