[Marxism] A factor in Nissan workers in Mississippi rejecting the UAW

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 8 06:12:54 MDT 2017

In the NY Times article covering the vote, it states:

Over all, the union was hobbled in its ability to respond to the 
company’s message to workers. Beyond the question of its contributions 
to local groups, which the union said were similar to contributions it 
has made to civil rights and religious groups for decades, anti-union 
workers dwelled on the indictment last week of a former Fiat Chrysler 
labor relations official accused of skimming millions of dollars from a 
training facility to benefit himself and a former U.A.W. counterpart.

“Before all this came out, I felt like the U.A.W. might come in,” Mr. 
Cooke said.


In the excerpt above, the word "dwelled" links to an anti-union FB page:


While the word "indictment" links to a NY Times article:

NY Times, July 26 2017
Ex-Fiat Chrysler Executive Accused of Siphoning Millions With Union Leader

The former head of labor relations at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was 
indicted on conspiracy and other charges by a federal grand jury on 
Wednesday, accused of siphoning off millions of dollars from a workers 
training center to pay for lavish travel, gifts, home improvements and 
other expenses for himself and his main negotiating partner at the 
United Automobile Workers union.

The executive, Alphons Iacobelli, 57, who suddenly retired from Fiat 
Chrysler in 2015, used money the company put into a union account to pay 
for a $350,000 Ferrari 458 Spider, two gold Montblanc pens each worth 
$35,700, a swimming pool and new kitchen for his home in Rochester 
Hills, Mich., from 2012 to 2014, according to a 42-page indictment from 
the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Also charged was Monica Morgan, the widow of General Holiefield, a 
U.A.W. vice president who led the union’s negotiations with Fiat 
Chrysler from 2008 to 2014. Mr. Holiefield came under scrutiny inside 
the U.A.W. in October 2013, when union officials began investigating 
hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses and transfers linked to a 
union training center, according to the indictment. He retired in 2014 
and died of pancreatic cancer the following year.

The indictment said Mr. Iacobelli authorized $1.2 million in payments 
for the benefit of Mr. Holiefield and his wife from 2009 to 2013. These 
included $262,219.11 to pay off the mortgage on a home owned by the 
Holiefields, as well as first-class plane tickets for Ms. Holiefield, 
and tens of thousands of dollars in cash transfers to companies she managed.

A Fiat Chrysler accountant, Jerome Durden, 61, of Rochester, Mich., was 
also named in the indictment. Three other employees of the company’s 
employee relations department were mentioned in the indictment, but 
their names were withheld.

“Today’s indictment exposes a disturbing criminal collaboration that was 
ongoing for years between high-ranking officials” from Fiat Chrysler and 
the U.A.W., David P. Gelios, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation in Detroit, said in statement.

Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that it learned of the actions of Mr. 
Iacobelli and Mr. Durden in June 2015 and that the men had left the 
company. Fiat Chrysler and the U.A.W. were “victims of malfeasance by 
their respective employees,” the company said.

Dennis Williams, the U.A.W. president, said the union was “appalled” by 
the charges. “The U.A.W. had absolutely no knowledge of the fraudulent 
activities detailed in this indictment until they were brought to our 
attention by the government,” he said in a statement.

Both Fiat Chrysler and the U.A.W. said they were cooperating with 

Calls to phone numbers listed under Mr. Iacobelli’s name and Mr. 
Durden’s name were not returned. Ms. Morgan could not be reached for 

While negotiating contracts, auto executives and union representatives 
often portray relations as tense, signaling that they are battling to 
win the best deal for their constituents. In recent years, the U.A.W. 
has staged short strikes during contract talks to show rank-and-file 
members that they took a hard line with the auto companies.

But the relationship is not always adversarial, however. The industry 
has seen instances when labor and management representatives have formed 
close, private ties and crossed legal lines. A decade ago, Volkswagen 
was rocked by scandal when it was revealed that the company’s top worker 
representative and a senior labor executive had used company accounts to 
pay for prostitutes, international travel and expensive wines.

The indictment handed down in Detroit indicated that the payments to Mr. 
Holiefield began as a way of winning his cooperation in negotiations and 
labor issues.

The payments were made using a bank account and credit cards linked to 
the U.A.W.-Chrysler National Training Center, in Detroit. The N.T.C., as 
it was known, was funded by Chrysler with annual payments of $13 million 
to $31 million.

Early on in the scheme, Mr. Iacobelli and Mr. Durden approved transfers 
of more than $150,000 from the training center’s funds to a charity set 
up by Mr. Holiefield, according to the indictment. Mr. Durden served as 
treasurer of the charity, called the Leave the Light On Foundation.

In 2012, training center accounts began paying off large American 
Express bills for Mr. Iacobelli, and covered the cost of leasing a 
private airplane, according to the indictment. A payment of $96,000 
covered the cost of a swimming pool at his 9,800-square foot, 
three-story home, which has seven bathrooms. Real estate websites value 
the residence at $1.4 million.

By October 2013, the U.A.W.’s general counsel began reviewing the 
training center’s accounts and credit card policies, the indictment 
said. At that time, Detroit media outlets reported that Mr. Holiefield 
had come under heavy criticism and the U.A.W. president at the time, Bob 
King, met with several local chapters to quell the uproar. A few weeks 
later, the union announced Mr. Holiefield would retire the following 
June. That month, the training center issued the check that paid off Mr. 
Holiefield’s mortgage.

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