DETROIT – Top officials of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union conspired to violate U.S. labor laws, federal prosecutors alleged in a court document, saying a former executive at the automaker knew bribes paid to union leaders were designed to “grease the skids” in labor negotiations.
U.S. Justice department officials called the company and the union “co-conspirators” in a document related to a guilty plea agreed by former Fiat Chrysler director of employee relations Michael Brown. The document was filed with the U.S. District Court in Detroit on May 25. Its contents were reported by the Detroit News on Wednesday.
Brown pleaded guilty to one count of concealing a felony. The plea agreement stated that he knew Fiat Chrysler executives authorized improper payments and paid for travel, liquor, cigars and other goods for UAW officials who served on the union’s negotiating committee.