Last week, media reports surfaced indicating the FBI had turned its attention toward General Motors in its ongoing UAW corruption investigation. Federal investigators have now exonerated the automaker, however, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirming the company is not being criminally investigated as part of the UAW probe.
“Recent media reports suggested that General Motors may be a focus of a ‘newer front in the years-long criminal investigation’ being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit,” the automaker said in a prepared statement released last week. “This is simply not true. GM is not a target of the government’s ongoing investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit officially confirmed this to GM.”
As The Detroit News points out, which originally reported on the alleged FBI-GM probe, this statement draws a clear contrast between GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which the FBI has named as a co-conspirator with the UAW. The union is being investigated over accusations that it received bribes from FCA to give the automaker preferential treatment during the 2009, 2011 and 2015 collective bargaining processes.
Some of these bribes were funneled to UAW officials through the UAW-FCA Training Center. Similarly, last week’s report indicated the FBI was focusing in on the GM-UAW Center for Human Resources training center. It said the FBI had secured documents pertaining to the GM-UAW training center’s financial transactions, charitable donations, vendor contracts and travel spending.
GM is currently suing FCA, accusing it of paying off UAW officials in order to gain preferential treatment in the aforementioned collective bargaining agreements. GM’s lawsuit also accuses FCA of attempting to weaken GM’s financial standing through the corrupted bargaining processes in order to force a merger between the two automakers.
“This lawsuit is intended to hold FCA accountable for the harm its actions have caused our company and to ensure a level playing field going forward,” Craig Glidden, GM Executive Vice President and General Counsel, said in a statement released last November.
Last week, GM spokesman Jim Cain said the company has cooperated with the FBI’s investigation in recent years and said the GM-UAW Center for Human Resources was a victim of corrupt UAW officials.
“The federal investigation has made it clear that the Center for Human Resources and the people it served were victimized by corrupt former union officials,” Cain said. “GM is grateful for the government’s efforts to expose corruption and we have been fully cooperating with the government for nearly three years.”
Source/photo: The Detroit Free Press, Google Maps