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Automaker Files 'Unprecedented' Lawsuit

Fiat Chrysler is in the legal crosshairs
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 20, 2019 4:00 PM CST
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This May 16, 2014, file photo, shows the General Motors logo at the company's world headquarters in Detroit. 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.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
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(Newser) – 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 AP reports. The unprecedented lawsuit, filed Wednesday in US 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 starting in 2017. 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.

"FCA was the clear sponsor of pervasive wrongdoing, paying millions of dollars in bribes to obtain concessions" from the union, GM General Counsel Craig Glidden said. "FCA's manipulation of the collective bargaining process resulted in unfair labor costs and operational advantages for it, causing harm to GM." Fiat Chrysler called the lawsuit "meritless" and said it would defend itself vigorously. It also accused GM of trying to disrupt its proposed merger with French automaker PSA Peugeot. In addition to Fiat Chrysler, the lawsuit names former FCA labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli and two other former FCA officials. All have pleaded guilty in the federal corruption probe, which has alleged that Fiat Chrysler bribed UAW officials to keep them "fat, dumb and happy."

(Read more General Motors stories.)

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