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The UAW-GM agreement would dissolve fitness center involved in federal corruption probe



FBI agents complete material loading in a truck out of the home of United Auto Workers President Gary Jones on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT – A tentative agreement between United Auto Workers and the General Motors reached this week would disband a jointly controlled training facility that has been at the center of an ongoing federal corruption probe for union corruption.

If GM's union members ratify the agreement, training programs and other services currently handled by the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources would be transferred to a new "Executive Board-Joint Activity" consisting of an equal number of GM and UAW appointees members, according to the tentative contract released Friday.

Financial assets of the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, a nonprofit, will be reorganized as two tax-free Taft-Hartley Trust Fund organizations and the center's physical location, a large pristine building near Detroit, would be sold. All staff at the center would be assigned elsewhere or terminated in accordance with the agreement.

As of 201

7, the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources had total assets of $ 78.8 million, down from more than $ 100 million in 2014. It operates training and teaching assistance, among other programs. These functions will continue under the Joint Activity Board.

The agreement would also prohibit the use of funds from the trusts for "promotional products and news articles," which are now known as "trinkets and garbage," and have been used by bribery and misdemeanor officials, according to federal prosecutors.

GM did not immediately respond to comment. The union refused to comment on the potential end of the training center.

A spokeswoman for Fiat Chrysler declined to comment on the potential of the company seeking to close the jointly operated training center with the federation. Ford Motor said in a statement that it is "too early to speculate on how the UAW-GM tentative deal would affect" the Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker.

"Our focus is still on reaching a fair agreement with UAW that allows the company to be more competitive, so we can continue to preserve and protect well-paid production jobs and maintain our results in investing in our US plants," Ford said .

The proposal, if ratified by GM members, will be used as a template by the union for negotiations with Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

by a current member of the federation's top government.

Jeffery Pietrzyk, administrative assistant for the UAW-GM Training Center, is the latest accused in the scandal. Former top assistant to retired UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, a former member of the GM board, is expected next week to plead guilty to charges involving bribes and setbacks that swindled union workers.

Pietrzyk's attorney, Robert C. Singer, confirmed to CNBC on Friday that his client is expected to plead guilty.

The four-year federal investigation started with a joint-controlled training center between UAW and Fiat Chrysler, but expanded rapidly to include probes in GM and Ford operations as well.

The investigation has led to the conviction of six members of the union, including a former vice president at the union's Fiat Chrysler department, and three executives at Fiat Chrysler. No one from the union's Ford department is charged and neither has GM or Ford executives.

UAW's 48,000 members with GM are expected to vote on the proposed agreement, which was announced Wednesday, by October 25. [19659018]
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