Two Chrysler Executives, UAW Official Sentenced for Roles in Bribery Conspiracy

The fallout from the Chrysler-United Auto Workers scandal continues. On November 7, two former executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Jerome Durden and Michael Brown, along with an ex-UAW official, Keith Mickens, were sentenced in Detroit federal court for their roles in a broad scheme in which representatives of the auto manufacturer bribed union negotiators to avoid raising key issues during contract negotiations a few years ago. They are the third, fourth and fifth defendants to be sentenced in the scandal, estimated at $4.5 million, which also involved embezzlement and income tax evasion. The latest actions, said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, represent “further strides in our effort to root out corruption” at FCA and UAW.

Union Corruption Update has covered this pay-for-play scandal many times since it broke last July. The primary culprits were Chrysler Vice President Al Iacobelli, UAW Vice President General Holiefield, and Holiefield’s girlfriend and … Read More ➡

Illinois UAW Local President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On October 25, Anthony Edmunds, former president of United Auto Workers Local 2419, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to one count of embezzling funds from the Danville, Ill. union in the sum of $19,482. He had been indicted last December. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Ex-Chrysler Executive Sentenced in UAW Training Fund Scandal

As a key figure in the Chrysler-United Auto Workers training fund scandal, Al Iacobelli expected a stiff sentence. And that’s what he got. On August 27, Iacobelli, former vice president of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to 66 months in prison and 24 months of supervised release for attempting to bribe certain UAW officers with more than $1.5 million in cash and other things of value in 2015 in hopes of persuading them to drop contract demands, and for embezzling funds for his own use. Iacobelli was ordered to pay $853,522 in restitution, a $10,000 fine and a $100 assessment. He had pleaded guilty in January after being indicted last July. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Alfons “Al” Iacobelli, now 58, a … Read More ➡

Ex-UAW Official Pleads Guilty to Role in Chrysler Training Fund Scandal

In the overall scheme of things, Virdell King was a minor figure. But the evidence of her guilt was compelling all the same. On August 29, Ms. King, a former contract negotiator for the United Auto Workers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy related to her diverting tens of thousands of dollars from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center to her own use and the use of others. She had been charged on August 11. The two principals in the case, Monica Morgan, widow of late UAW Vice President General Holiefield, and Alphons Iaocbelli, a former Chrysler vice president and labor negotiator, were indicted in July for their roles in the scam. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Union Corruption Update … Read More ➡

VW Maintenance Workers in Chattanooga to Join Union; Automaker Appeals

vwWhen the United Auto Workers in April 2014 gave up on its bid to unionize hourly workers at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga two months after its ballot defeat, then-President Bob King intimated the union would be back. It’s a lot more than an intimation now. On December 4, robotics and other machine maintenance workers at the facility voted 108-44 in favor of UAW representation. The National Labor Relations Board a week earlier had approved a union request for an election. Unlike the last time, VW is not siding with the union. Even before the vote, the German automaker had announced its intent to appeal the NLRB ruling. The victorious workers are but a fraction of all employees, but they are celebrating all the same. And the NLRB remains very much in the picture.

For decades, the United Auto Workers have viewed the South as prime organizing territory. … Read More ➡

NLRB Sues Employer, UAW at South Carolina Auto Plant

Labor unions, in theory, are supposed to support higher pay for workers. The idea of a union colluding with an employer to drive down wages doesn’t make sense. Then again, forced card-check agreements have never made sense – at least for workers reluctant to join a union. A case originating in South Carolina on the issue may have major implications for the rights of non-joining employees who may view a particular union as corrupt.


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Friday, August 5 announced it would prosecute the United Auto Workers for unlawfully blocking a scheduled wage increase, thereby coercing Freightliner, a Portland, Ore.-based maker of trucks and other commercial vehicles, to support the union during an organizing drive at the firm’s Gaffney, S.C. plant. NLRB’s Regional Office 11, in Winston-Salem, N.C., had responded to a complaint brought forth in 2003 by attorneys with the National Right to Work Read More ➡