Detroit – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's late CEO Sergio Marchionne orchestrated a multi-million dollar conspiracy – including bribes – that destroyed three rounds of negotiations with United Auto Workers and damaged General Motors Co., according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by GM.
In the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Italian American carmaker, GM says "clear concessions of wrongdoing" by FCA executives in an ongoing federal investigation into the union exposed a multi-year corruption pattern that FCA used to cause GM "enormous financial damage. "
Sergio Marchionne (Photo: Kevin Hagen, Getty Images)
"This lawsuit is intended to make the FCA liable for the damages the actions have caused our company and to ensure a level playing field in the future," says Craig Glidden, GM's Executive Vice President and CEO, in a statement. [1 9659006] ►Read more: Former UAW leader and GM Ashton blamed for auto-industry scandal
The lawsuit seeks to set a price tag for crimes related to crimes committed by FCA executives convicted in federal court during a year-long federal crime. The probe has produced 10 convictions, charges against 13 and implicated Marchionne, UAW President Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, Jones & # 39; s predecessor and a longtime friend of Marchionne.
GM claims that the FCA was a "clear sponsor of pervasive wrongdoing, and paid millions of dollars in bribes to obtain benefits, concessions and benefits in negotiating, executing and managing employment agreements over time. FCA's manipulation of the collective bargaining process resulted in unfair labor costs and operating benefits, and caused harm to GM. "
The lawsuit promises a unique public battle between two titans in the US automobile industry, which was removed every decade from a nearly $ 82 billion taxpayer-funded bankruptcy that allowed both of them to shut down plants, cut jobs and win brands, especially GM.
Marchionne's role in the federal anti-corruption scheme has been unclear since the scandal arose in 2017. For the first time, the lawsuit presents him as a central figure in a conspiracy to weaken GM and expand its control of the global auto industry, potentially including an attempt at the takeover of the automaker which was repeatedly rejected by GM CEO Mary Barra and GM's directors.
GM claims that the FCA "destroyed the implementation" of UAW collective bargaining agreements in 2009 that came out of their federally induced bankruptcy. GM also says that the Marchionne FCA "destroyed the negotiations, implementation and administration of the 2011 and 2015 agreements."
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages that could amount to billions, money that GM says they would reinvest in their US business. GM sued FCA US LLC and the Dutch parent company along with three executives convicted of federal crimes, notably Vice President Alphons Iacobelli, the former chief of labor negotiations who is now serving a 5 1/2 year sentence in federal prison.
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