Prosecutor points to UAW “culture of corruption” as union officials face sentencing


Prosecutor points to UAW “culture of corruption” as union officials face sentencing

Shannon Jones

7 November 2018

A top ranking former United Auto Workers official convicted in the ongoing federal corruption investigation into illegal payoffs to the union by Fiat Chrysler is due to be sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to his role in the affair.

Keith Mickens has asked the court for lenient treatment, citing enormous pressure by the UAW apparatus to engage in corrupt activities sanctioned by upper echelon union officials. Mickens pleaded guilty to using credit cards supplied by the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center (NTC) in Detroit to make personal purchases in violation of federal labor law banning such activities.

So far seven people, including senior UAW and Chrysler officials, have been convicted in the scheme involving the diversion of upwards of $9 million in NTC funds to obtain favorable contract terms for Fiat Chrysler in national labor agreements. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press published Monday, more individuals could face federal charges soon in the federal investigation that has reached the top of the UAW.

In a sentencing memorandum filed October 31 relating to Mickens’ role, federal prosecutors noted the ongoing investigation has “revealed that there was a culture of corruption in the senior leadership of the United Auto Workers union. Leaders of the UAW viewed the National Training Center as a mechanism to take apparently unlimited and illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler for their own personal benefit, for the benefit of the union itself, and their own lavish entertainment.”

It notes that Mickens, the third highest official in the UAW’s Fiat Chrysler department, “became ensconced in that culture of corruption where…

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