Fiat Chrysler to Judge: GM's Being Paranoid, Please Ignore

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fiat chrysler to judge gm s being paranoid please ignore

General Motors desperately wants to reopen a case dismissed last month by a federal judge, but Fiat Chrysler’s having none of it.

The racketeering lawsuit filed by GM against its crosstown rival alleged that FCA secured unfair labor advantages over GM via bribed UAW officials, with the automaker claiming last week that it possesses new evidence capable of convicting its automotive foe. A number of offshore bank accounts fueled the bribery effort, GM claims, with the automaker’s court filing accusing former UAW Vice President (and ex-GM board member) Joe Ashton of being a paid mole.

Gripping stuff, but FCA says it’s seen this movie before — and it’s a stinker.

According to Reuters, FCA has requested U.S. District Judge Paul Borman to pay no attention to GM’s request, saying its rival’s allegations amount to a “third-rate spy movie, full of preposterous allegations.”

The conviction of Ashton and imprisonment of former FCA labor negotiator Alphons Iacobelli, as well as the sweeping federal investigation into corruption and bribery at the highest levels of the UAW gives GM’s lawsuit weight, but the automaker won’t be able to prove anything unless it gets its day in court. Former UAW president Dennis Williams is also named in the suit as a beneficiary of FCA’s alleged bribery scheme.

GM has claimed since the outset that corrupted bargaining practices left FCA with an unfair labor cost advantage over its domestic rivals, costing its own operations billions. It wanted to collect, and still does.

In a court filing early last week, GM claimed that FCA’s bribery cash flowed by way of bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Italy, and Singapore. FCA says it’s all bunk, stating to the judge that it operates facilities in dozens of countries. As such, the number of offshore accounts is “unremarkable, and certainly not illegal.”

Continuing, FCA said the naming of FCA officials was a “despicable” act reminiscent of the McCarthy witch hunt of the 1950s.

In a letter seen by Reuters on Monday, FCA CEO Mike Manley told employees that GM’s efforts amount to a case of sour grapes.

“It is… clear to me that this series of attacks is directly related to our success in competing and winning where it matters, in the market,” Manley wrote. “The consistent strengths we’ve demonstrated over the last decade will be deployed to even greater effect as we complete our merger with Groupe PSA.”

Unswayed by FCA’s new filing, GM remained adamant that it would reveal “the full extent of harm the FCA bribery scheme caused GM,” stating that, “FCA’s corruption of the collective bargaining process remains undeniable.”

[Image: Daniel J. Macy/Shutterstock]
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  • Vulpine Vulpine on Aug 11, 2020

    GM has bankrupted itself once already in this century; pursuing this now will only lead to another far sooner than necessary.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 11, 2020

    Maybe the UAW should simply negotiate the same payscales for all workers, regardless of employer. Then the mfrs can treat the UAW as a labor pool from which to draw.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on Aug 11, 2020

      @SCE to AUX: That actually makes sense. But then you'd see the OEMs complaining about industrial espionage when an employee gets laid off from one and hired at another, right after which the second OEM adopts a product type or technique that was recent IP for the first. They never will get along.

  • Alan GM is still dying. The US auto manufacturing sector overall needs to restructure. It is heavily reliant on large protected vehicles with far more protection than the EU has on its vehicles (25% import tariff).Globally GM has lost out in the EU, UK, Australia, etc. GM has shut down in Australia because it is uncompetitive in a global market. Ford still exists in Australia but is reliant on a Thai manufactured pickup, the Ranger which is Australia's second largest selling vehicle.The US needs to look at producing global products, not 'murica only products. Asians and Europeans can do it. America is not unique.
  • Duane Baldinger Ya my cupcake Mailman will love it!
  • Duane Baldinger Where can I send the cash? It's a surprise BDAY present for my cupcake Mailman. D Duane
  • Art Vandelay Pour one out for the Motors Liquidation Corporation
  • Bill Wade Norm, while true I'll leave you with this. My 2023 RAM is running Android 8 released in 2017.My wife's navigation on her GM truck is a 2021 release, I believe the latest. Android Auto seems to update very week or two. Now, which would you rather have? Anybody with a car a couple of years old NEVER sees any updates. Heck, if your TV is a few years old it's dead on updates. At least cell phones are rapidly updated. If your old phone won't update, buy another $200 phone. If your GM vehicle doesn't update do what, buy another $50,000 GM vehicle?