United Auto Workers (UAW) President Dennis Williams on Friday rejected a claim that payments by a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) executive to a union official had compromised agreement talks or affected union funds.
In a letter to members read by Reuters, Williams stated, “There is simply no fact to the claim that this misbehavior compromised the settlement of our collective bargaining agreement or had any influence on union funds.”
Earlier last week, former FCA executive Alphons Iacobelli pleaded guilty to federal charges that he made no less than $1.5 million in inappropriate payments to UAW union officials.
According to a plea contract revealed late on Monday, Iacobelli, 58, agreed to comply in the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into supposed misspending at UAW union training centers funded by U.S. car manufacturers.
Monica Morgan, wife of previous UAW vice president General Holiefield, who died in March 2015, is likewise expected to plead guilty, Reuters reported earlier, mentioning a person knowledgeable about the matter. She faces a plea hearing on February 6.
According to the plea agreement, Iacobelli confessed to moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in restricted payments to charities managed by UAW officials. The agreement stated he authorized paying off Morgan and Holiefield’s $262,000 mortgage.
The agreement states that Iacobelli used FCA funds to pay over $1.5 million in cash and items of value to UAW officials and workers to get concessions for FCA in working out and implementing collective bargaining agreements between the car manufacturer and the union, and to affect union choices on pension funds.
The plea deal likewise specifies that he authorized secret payments of $50,000 each to choose UAW authorities.