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General Motors sues Fiat Chrysler, accuses competitor of labor racketeering

uaw strike signs laying on the ground
Katie Raymond
Michigan Radio
GM alleges FCA bribed union officials during contract negotiations.

General Motors is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that its crosstown rival got an unfair business advantage by bribing officials of the United Auto Workers union.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, alleges that FCA was involved in racketeering by paying millions in bribes to get concessions and gain advantages in three labor agreements with the union.

Details of the racketeering have been exposed in a federal probe of corruption at the union that has resulted in multiple arrests.

The lawsuit alleges that Fiat Chrysler corrupted the bargaining process with the UAW in the 2009, 2011 and 2015 union contracts to gain advantages over General Motors.

Craig Glidden, chief counsel for General Motors, alleges that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died last year, was a "central figure" in the company's alleged racketeering, in which it paid millions in bribes to get concessions and gain advantages in three labor agreements with the United Auto Workers union. GM claims the conspiracy was designed to put it at a cost disadvantage to FCA.

"FCA's manipulation of the collective bargaining process resulted in unfair labor costs and operational advantages for it, causing harm to GM," Glidden said.

A message was left Wednesday seeking comment from Fiat Chrysler.

The lawsuit also names former FCA labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli, and former FCA officials Jerome Durden and Michael Brown as defendants. All have pleaded guilty in a federal corruption probe, which has alleged that Fiat Chrysler bribed UAW officials to keep them "fat, dumb and happy."

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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