Former Fiat Chrysler labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli pleaded guilty Monday to two of the seven charges brought against him in relation to his role in helping pilfer more than $4.5 million in funding from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, for the enrichment of certain FCA execs and union officials.
As part of that plea deal, we’ve now learned that FCA executives or employees allegedly paid more than $1.5 million to senior United Auto Workers union officials in order to obtain benefits, concessions, and advantages for FCA in the negotiation, implementation, and administration” of collective bargaining agreements. UAW officials such as President Dennis Williams contend that the alleged payouts couldn’t have had an effect on negotiations, as UAW members have the final say on new contracts, according to Automotive News.
A spokesperson for the UAW said Monday that the UAW is “appalled at these charges,” and that the union is taking steps to “reduce the risk of any future recurrence.”
Iacobelli’s plea deal details at least two examples of how FCA executives attempted to influence UAW conduct, Automotive News reports. In the first, which took place in December of 2013, an email from Iacobelli to another executive said that late UAW VP General Holiefield had been “scripted” ahead of a meeting with UAW International Executive Board members to “create a dialogue pursuant to [FCA’s] outline.” Holiefield might have helped FCA purchase equity held by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust.
In the second example, which took place in February and March of 2015, FCA allegedly offered confidential retirement officers to “senior UAW officials,” which a union official allegedly said would be processed so that the transactions would be kept “out of the plants.”
Still more charges could be on the way as the FBI continues to look into the alleged multi-million-dollar conspiracy surrounding the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center. Apart from Iacobelli, former UAW Associate Director Virdell King, former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden, and General Holiefield’s widow Monica Morgan have all been charged. King and Durden pleaded guilty to charges, while Ms. Morgan is scheduled for another plea hearing in February.