1785 Moldenhauer v. UAW-FCA Department

Case No: 1785

2019

The Union withdrew Moldenhauer’s grievances based on the UAW-FCA Department’s conclusion that the Department would not be able to convince an arbitrator to direct FCA management to adopt a definition of “active with seniority” that included people in Moldenhauer’s situation. The Union concluded that it was in the best interest of all bargaining unit members to accept the Company’s compromise on the definition of active employees in the plant, even at the expense of its full-time elected representatives. The settlement reflects a collective bargaining decision on the part of the International Union. The Public Review Board has no jurisdiction to review the wisdom or propriety of such decisions made in the course of contract negotiations.

The PRB does have jurisdiction to consider whether the International Union has complied with the UAW Ethical Practices Code. In his appeal to the PRB, Moldenhauer has charged that the UAW’s agreement to settle the merit awards issue was influenced by collusion between FCA Vice President Al Iacobelli and various high ranking officials in the International Union. We are aware of the federal government’s investigation into improper payments made by the Company to officials in the UAW-FCA Department, allegedly for the purpose of influencing collective bargaining, because the investigation has been widely reported on in the press. The fact that such incidents have occurred and are being investigated does not suggest, however, any particular wrongdoing in connection with the negotiations that are the subject of this appeal. Moldenhauer has not identified any specific incident or payment that can be tied to the UAW-FCA Department’s negotiations with the Company over the Merit Awards Program. It is difficult to understand why any FCA official would have felt the need to engage in the kind of collusion with the Union attributed to Vice President Iacobelli over the specific issue identified by Moldenhauer. Economic conditions alone have significantly diminished the Union’s bargaining leverage. During the parties’ negotiations over this issue in 2016, the Union lacked the bargaining strength to insist that full-time union representatives be included in the Company’s merit awards program.