In light of new information alleging that Fiat-Chrysler put moneys into offshore accounts for UAW executives, General Motors is asking a court to reconsider dismissing its lawsuit against the union and FCA.
The multi-year federal corruption probe against the United Auto Workers just took an interesting—and potentially devastating—turn for the beleaguered United Auto Workers.
In a federal court filing on Monday, the Detroit News reported, General Motors alleged that Fiat Chrysler (FCA) funneled millions of dollars through a “broad network of foreign bank accounts” for UAW bosses as part of a bribery scheme to win lower labor costs that would help FCA against GM.
“General Motors Co. leveled the new allegations while asking U.S. District Judge Paul Borman to reinstate the automaker’s civil racketeering lawsuit against FCA. Borman dismissed the case last month that accused Fiat Chrysler’s late CEO, Sergio Marchionne, of orchestrating a bribery conspiracy to corrupt three rounds of bargaining with the UAW. The conspiracy was designed to harm and take over Detroit’s largest automaker, according to the lawsuit, which said GM lost “billions” of dollars.”
“GM investigators discovered evidence of offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Italy, Singapore, the Cayman Islands and other countries, according to the filing.”
“The accounts benefited or were linked to several notable figures, including former UAW President Dennis Williams, former Fiat Chrysler Vice President Alphons Iacobelli and former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton. And the filing says payoffs through the foreign accounts also benefited retired UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, who retired in 2010 [Emphasis added.].
Although FCA—as a defendant in GM’s RICO suit—is denying the allegation, it is believed that this is the first time that retired UAW President Ron Gettelfinger has been named as part of the union’s corruption.
Gettelfinger was president of the UAW both before and during the financial crash in 2007 and 2008 and helped solicit the auto bailout moneys for General Motors and Chrysler from Congress.
Gettlefinger’s accounts “apparently exist in Panama and Switzerland in his name and the name of a family member,” reported the Detroit News.
In an open letter on the UAW’s website, Gettelfinger vehemently denied GM’s accusation.
“I want to be unequivocally clear: I have never had control over any financial account in any foreign country, nor has any member of my family,” Gettelfinger wrote. “Further, neither I nor any member of my family have ever received one cent from a foreign account like GM claimed. Never.”
As recently as June, Matthew Schneider, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan told Reuters that the possibility of a federal takeover of the UAW is “absolutely” possible.
If GM’s accusations against the UAW and FCA prove to be true, it may just add to the government’s case for government oversight.
- Fourteen UAW and Fiat Chrysler officials have been charged in auto scandal
- GM Slaps Fiat Chrysler With RICO Lawsuit Claiming It Bribed And Corrupted Union Talks
- UAW Spent $2.3 Million In 2019 On Legal Fees For Corrupt Union Bosses