Three Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers belonging to the United Auto Workers union have filed a lawsuit over the alleged $4.5-million conspiracy surrounding the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, which is under investigation by the FBI. The lawsuit seeks hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, according to Automotive News, and the three plaintiffs say they are representing thousands of other workers. The firm representing them seeks class-action status.
The complaint was filed by Michigan law firm Sterling Attorneys at Law last Friday, after former Fiat Chrysler labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli pleaded guilty to two of seven charges brought against him and revealed new information to prosecutors. As part of the plea agreement, Iacobelli testified that FCA employees and executives paid “senior UAW officials” more than $1.5 million in an effort to “obtain benefits, concessions, and advantages for FCA in the negotiation, implementation, and administration” of collective bargaining agreements, a.k.a. union contracts.
Iacobelli has admitted to transferring prohibited payments to charities controlled by UAW officials, and giving more than $1.5 million in cash and valuables to UAW officials and employees in order to influence contract negotiations and the UAW’s decision-making regarding pension funds.
In light of this, the plaintiffs now suing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the United Auto Workers union say that together, they’ve “paid tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars in Union dues for a transaction tainted by the conspiracy between FCA and the UAW.” Automotive News reports that one of the plaintiffs, Brian Keller, has started a GoFundMe page in the hopes of raising $280k to put Sterling Attorneys at Law on retainer.