Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on GM lawsuit against FCA

Open warfare broke out between two Detroit automakers Wednesday, with General Motors suing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, alleging that it cost GM billions of dollars by corrupting labor talks over the past decade. FCA called the effort "a meritless attempt to divert attention" from GM's own challenges. GM also alleged that former FCA boss Sergio Marchionne authorized bribes and conspired with the UAW to "effectively take over GM through a merger." The shocking lawsuit comes as FCA this week began final negotiations with the UAW on a new contract. The union this month settled quickly with Ford after a bitter 40-day strike against GM in September and October. At the same time, FCA is pushing toward a merger with French-based PSA Groupe, the maker of Peugeot and other brands, that would create the world's fourth-largest auto company. A labor expert said the lawsuit "raises a real specter of doubt about the integrity of FCA and the UAW and takes it to a higher level." "It basically is alleging that the parties colluded to affect collective bargaining to the advantage of the company and to the disadvantage of the workers," said Marick Masters, professor of business at Wayne State University.

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