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UAW’s Williams Supports Trump’s Tariff Proposal

No plans yet for calling an organizing vote at Tesla.

by 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.”

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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…)

UAW Leaders Struggling With Credibility Issues in Wake of Scandal

UAW-GM leader sends letter explaining outsourcing moves.

by on May.03, 2018

UAW's Cindy Estrada was part of an investigation by federal officials about the potential misuse of union funds.

This story has been updated with new information.

With their credibility damaged by the worst scandal to ever rock the United Auto Workers’ top executive board, union leaders are scrambling to explain changes in the union’s contract with General Motors that will allow the outsourcing of job at GM assembly plants in Lordstown, Ohio, and Orion Township, Michigan.

“You deserve to know the facts about recent outsourcing at Local 5960 Lake Orion and Local 1112 Lordstown,” Cynthia Estrada, the UAW vice president in charge of union’s GM Department, said in a letter to a union members.

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“This was a decision agreed to by the involved local, regional and national leadership. Everyone agrees that this situation sucks. But what would suck even more would be to have GM shut down any of our plants and devastate hundreds of our members’ lives and the communities where those plants exist,” said Estrada, who noted GM car production has slashed by 20%. (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)